HONOLULU, HI – Hawaii, home to President Barack Obama, became the 42nd U.S. state to recognize the Armenian Genocide, with the State House of Representatives earlier today adopting a formal measure (HR192) that both condemned this crime and noted Turkey’s ongoing denial of this atrocity.
The measure, which was adopted unanimously on the day of the President’s trip to Turkey, declares April 24th as a “Day of Remembrance in Recognition of and Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide of 1915.” The “Aloha State” proclamation makes Hawaii the 42nd state to recognize the Armenian Genocide.
“Hawaii’s recognition today of the Armenian Genocide reflects the broad-based and growing tide of civil society support throughout the United States for a strong, moral American stand against all genocides,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. “In this spirit, and keeping faith with the citizens of Hawaii and the forty-one other states that have officially marked this crime, we look forward, in the coming days, to the President honoring his pledge to recognize the Armenian Genocide.”
The legislation, HR192, states that, “approximately 1.5 million Armenian men, women, and children living within the Ottoman Empire’s borders were killed in a brutal genocide,” and that, “the Armenian Genocide remains unacknowledged by the Republic of Turkey to this day.” The measure also notes that, “this body joins with Hawaii’s Armenian-American community and all Armenians worldwide in recognizing and honoring those who were killed and persecuted during the Armenian Genocide, and urging people throughout the world to never forget these horrific crimes against humanity.”
The full text of the Hawaii proclamation is provided below.
Declaring April 24 as a Day of Remembrance in Recognition and Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide of 1915
WHEREAS, during the chaos of World War I between the years of 1915-1923, approximately 1,500,000 Armenian men, women, and children living within the Ottoman Empire’s borders were killed in a brutal genocide; and
WHEREAS, hundreds of thousands of Armenians were forced to flee to foreign countries after being stripped of their possessions, national identities, and homeland; and
WHEREAS, documented as the first instance of genocide in the 20th century, the Armenian genocide remains unacknowledged by the Republic of Turkey to this day; and
WHEREAS, even though over 90 years have passed since these mass killings took place, present-day atrocities continue to resonate throughout the world; and
WHEREAS, it is every person’s responsibility to recognize the brutal slayings of so many innocents, remember their suffering, and vow to help prevent future occurrences of genocide; and
WHEREAS, Armenia’s ties to Hawaii started in the 1920s with the gifted painter Arman T. Manookian, a genocide survivor, who lived in Hawaii for almost six years before his tragic death in 1931, and who became known as Hawaii’s Van Gogh; and
WHEREAS, Hawaii has a growing Armenian-American community that is involved in all aspects of public life, including business, education, and government; and
WHEREAS, each year, Armenians throughout the world honor those who perished in the first genocide of the 20th century, and all the people of the world should join in recognizing and commemorating the Armenian genocide to ensure that this ugly testament to man’s inhumanity to man is never forgotten; now, therefore,
BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the Twenty-fifth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2009, that this body hereby declares April 24 as a day of remembrance in recognition and commemoration of the Armenian genocide; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this body joins with Hawaii’s Armenian-American community and all Armenians worldwide in recognizing and honoring those who were killed and persecuted during the Armenian genocide, and urging people throughout the world to never forget these horrific crimes against humanity; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Resolution be transmitted to the Governor, who in turn is requested to transmit copies to the Executive Director of the Armenian National Committee of America and Armenian National Committee of Hawaii.