Governor Kim Reynolds Declares Oct. 2017 ‘Armenia Awareness Month’ During Official Signing Ceremony with ANCA Eastern Region, Human Rights Coalition Leaders, and Clergy
DES MOINES, Iowa (A.W.)—Moments ago, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds signed a proclamation memorializing the Armenian Genocide and declaring Oct. 2017 as “Armenia Awareness Month” in the Hawkeye State. Iowa is now the 47th U.S. state to officially recognize the Armenian Genocide.
The signing was attended by members of the Armenian community, including Father Tadeos Barseghyan of the St. Sahag Armenian Church of Minnesota, and Armen Sahakyan of the Armenian National Committee of America—Eastern Region (ANCA-ER). St. Sahag is the closest Armenian church serving the Armenian-American community of Iowa.
Below is footage of the signing ceremony, which took place at the Iowa State Assembly. The ANCA-ER webcast the signing ceremony live from Governor Reynolds’ formal office.
Iowa’s recognition comes a little more than three months after the Texas House of Representatives unanimously passed House Resolution 191, titled “Recognizing the Armenian Genocide,” on May 19, and becoming the 46th state in the U.S. to officially classify and commemorate the 1915-1923 annihilation of Ottoman Turkey’s indigenous Armenian community as genocide.
The State of Iowa proclamation can be read in its entirety, below.
WHEREAS, from 1915-1923 during the Armenian Genocide, one and one-half million ethnic Armenian men, women and children as well as over one million Greeks, Assyrians, Syriacs and others were massacred as part of the planned complete eradication of those indigenous communities by the Ottoman Turkish Empire during the first modern genocide that still requires justice; and
WHEREAS, prior to the implementation of the Holocaust, in order to garner support from his followers, Adolf Hitler asked, “Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?”; and
WHEREAS, the Holocaust was the state-sponsored, systematic persecution and annihilation of European Jews by Nazi Germany and its collaborators between 1933 and 1945 – six million Jews were murdered; Roma (Gypsies), people with disabilities and Poles were also targeted for destruction or decimation for racial, ethnic or national reasons; and millions more, including homosexuals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Soviet prisoners of war and political dissidents, also suffered grievous oppression and death under Nazi tyranny; and
WHEREAS, other cases of genocide include the killings in Cambodia in 1975, the massacres in Bosnia in 1992, the slaughter in Rwanda in 1994 and now in the 21st century, the displacements and deaths in Darfur as well as targeting of religious minorities by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in the Middle East; and
WHEREAS, the United States House of Representatives has adopted H.Con.Res. 75, declaring the atrocities perpetrated by the ISIL against Christians, Yezidis and other religious and ethnic minorities in Iraq and Syria war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide; and
WHEREAS, by 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:
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Kim Reynolds, Governor of the State of Iowa, do hereby proclaim the month of October, 2017 as
ARMENIA AWARENESS MONTH
IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I HAVE
HEREUNTO SUBSCRIBED MY NAME AND
CAUSED THE GREAT SEAL OF THE STATE OF
IOWA TO BE AFFIXED. DONE AT DES
MOINES THIS 24TH DAY OF AUGUST IN THE YEAR
OF OUR LORD TWO THOUSAND SEVENTEEN.
GOVERNOR OF IOWA
PAUL D. PATE
SECRETARY OF STATE