WASHINGTON, DC – Governor Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas has issued a proclamation marking the 90th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, making the Sunflower State the 38th U.S. state to go on record commemorating this crime against humanity, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).
“Armenian Americans very much appreciate Governor Sebelius’ leadership in adding Kansas to the list of U.S. states that have formally recognized the Armenian Genocide,” said Aram Hamparian, Executive Director of the ANCA. “We are hopeful that the growing pressure on the White House – from state governments and U.S. legislators – will impress upon the President that he should not stand in the way of Congressional legislation marking this crime against humanity.”
In the proclamation, issued on April 20th, Gov. Sebelius proclaims April 24th, 2005, “Armenian Remembrance Day.” She notes that April 24th marks “the ninetieth anniversary of the genocide and deportations of countless Armenians in Ottoman Turkey; this great sorrow continues to haunt not only Armenians but also their neighbors in Turkey.”
Governor Sebelius goes on to “salute the modern nation of Armenia, and Armenians everywhere,” noting that “Kansas is grateful for the contributions of Armenian Americans who have chosen Kansas as their adopted home. They have employed wisdom, courage and centuries old traditions to enrich the character of our state through their leadership in business, agriculture, academia, government and the arts”
In 2004, Governor Sebelius had issued a proclamation marking June 18th, 2004 as “Kansas-Armenia Partnership Day.” The measure called attention to the special relationship between the Kansas National Guard and Armenia, which began in 2003 as part of the State’s Partnership Program. That program pairs developing nations in Europe, South America and Asia with the National Guard in states and territories to foster mutual interests and establish long-term relationships.
During a June 18, 2004 special ceremony held at the State Defense Building in Topeka, State Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. (KS) Tod Bunting noted that, “Our Constitution starts ‘We, the People of the United States…’ Through this program, it is ‘We the People’ of Kansas who are reaching out in a spirit of cooperation to the people of Armenia to show them who we are and how we live and to learn from them who they are and how they live.”
The complete text of the 2005 Kansas Genocide proclamation is provided below.
TO THE PEOPLE OF KANSAS, GREETINGS:
WHEREAS, today is a day for Kansas to join in remembrance of a human tragedy that stands as a reminder for us to strive for a future of peace, prosperity and freedom for all; and
WHEREAS, today marks the ninetieth anniversary of the genocide and deportations of countless Armenians in Ottoman Turkey; this great sorrow continues to haunt not only Armenians but also their neighbors in Turkey; and
WHEREAS, we are reminded that the suffering of the Armenian people from 1915-1923 was a tragedy which the world should not forget and applauds efforts of Armenia and Turkey to come together to consider these events and their significance; and
WHEREAS, Kansas also wishes these countries success as they build on their recent achievements and encourages them to continue to work together in a spirit of hope and understanding; and
WHEREAS, Kansas remembers those who perished and suffered, we also salute the modern nation of Armenia, and Armenians everywhere. Kansas is grateful for the contributions of Armenian Americans who have chosen Kansas as their adopted home. They have employed wisdom, courage and centuries old traditions to enrich the character of our state through their leadership in business, agriculture, academia, government and the arts; and
NOW, THEREFORE, I, KATHLEEN SEBELIUS, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF KANSAS, on behalf of the people of Kansas, send solemn wishes to the Armenian people on this day of remembrance, and do hereby proclaim April 24, 2005, as
Armenian Remembrance Day
in Kansas, and urge all citizens to join in this observance. Our state and the Armenian nation stand together, with our partnership of peace, prosperity and freedom.
DONE: At the Capitol in Topeka
under the Great Seal of the
State this 20th day of April, A.D. 2005
BY THE GOVERNOR: