West Virginia recognizes Armenian Genocide

West Virginia recognizes Armenian Genocide

PanARMENIAN.Net - West Virginia became the 44th U.S. state to recognize the Armenian Genocide with Governor Earl Ray Tomblin’s proclamation declaring April 2016 as “Genocide Awareness and Prevention Month” in the Mountain State, reported the Armenian National Committee of America Eastern Region (ANCA-ER).

Citing the murder of over 1.5 million Armenians and one million Greeks and Assyrians from 1915-1923, and the ongoing genocide against Christians, Yezidis and other minorities in the Middle East, Governor Tomblin’s proclamation notes that “recognizing and consistently remembering the Armenian Genocide, the Holocaust, and all cases of past and ongoing genocide, we help protect historic memory, ensure that similar atrocities do not occur again, and remain vigilant against hatred, persecution and tyranny.”

Local ANCA advocates Hamparsum Kasparyan, Nancy J. Tolliver and Amy N Tolliver played an integral role in working with state officials in support of the proclamation.

ANCA Eastern Region Chairman Stephen Mesrobian welcomed the proclamation, noting, “We applaud the Mountain State for officially memorializing the Armenian Genocide, thereby becoming the 44th state in the Union to do so. This sends a strong signal to the international community and the Obama Administration that we cannot – and must not – kowtow to Turkey’s genocide denial campaign.”

The Armenian Genocide

The Armenian Genocide (1915-23) was the deliberate and systematic destruction of the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire during and just after World War I. It was characterized by massacres and deportations, involving forced marches under conditions designed to lead to the death of the deportees, with the total number of deaths reaching 1.5 million.

The majority of Armenian Diaspora communities were formed by the Genocide survivors.

Present-day Turkey denies the fact of the Armenian Genocide, justifying the atrocities as “deportation to secure Armenians”. Only a few Turkish intellectuals, including Nobel Prize winner Orhan Pamuk and scholar Taner Akcam, speak openly about the necessity to recognize this crime against humanity.

The Armenian Genocide was recognized by Uruguay, Russia, France, Lithuania, Italy, 45 U.S. states, Greece, Cyprus, Lebanon, Argentina, Belgium, Austria, Wales, Switzerland, Canada, Poland, Venezuela, Chile, Bolivia, the Vatican, Luxembourg, Brazil, Germany, the Netherlands, Paraguay, Sweden, Venezuela, Slovakia, Syria, Vatican, as well as the European Parliament and the World Council of Churches.

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