The leadership of the Congressional Armenian Caucus on Monday called on their U.S. House colleagues to join with them in a bipartisan request that President Donald Trump honestly and accurately commemorate the Armenian Genocide, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).
“Visit anca.org/genocide to add your voice to the Congressional Armenian Caucus in calling upon President Trump to reject Turkey’s gag-rule against an honest American remembrance of the Armenian Genocide,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. “This is a vital moment. At the start of this new and disruptive era, we have an opportunity to help America break bad habits that have, for far too long, held America hostage to the irrational dictates of foreign governments. So, please, take action today and then encourage your friends and family to join you in asking their U.S. Representatives to co-sign this Congressional letter.”
In a “Dear Colleague” letter to U.S. Representatives, Armenian Caucus Co-Chairs Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Jackie Speier (D-CA), David Trott (R-MI) and David Valadao (R-CA) as well as Vice-Chairs Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) and Adam Schiff (D-CA) explained “there is no debate that an estimated 1.5 million Armenians were massacred in the first genocide of the 20th century. The United States Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, Henry Morgenthau, documented the Genocide and raised significant funds to help the Armenian people in its aftermath.” Their letter went on to state that “A Presidential recognition would pay tribute to the lives lost, the perseverance and determination of those who survived, and to the many Americans of Armenian descent who have strengthened our country to this day.”
In their letter addressed to President Trump, Members of Congress will note that Presidential action on this matter would be an extension of previous affirmation by the executive and legislative branches of government, including “President Reagan, who recognized the Armenian Genocide in 1981, and the Eisenhower Administration, which did the same in a 1951 submission to the International Court of Justice. The House of Representatives has also commemorated the Armenian Genocide, through HJR148 in 1975 and HJR247 in 1984.”
The letter also highlights the historic levels of U.S. assistance provided through the Congressionally chartered Near East Foundation, “which raised $116 million (over $2.5 billion in 2017 dollars) to aid the victims of the Ottoman Empire’s mass murder of millions of Armenians, Assyrians, Chaldeans, Greeks, Pontians, Syriacs, and other persecuted peoples. The generosity of the American people saved countless lives and helped to ensure the continued survival of the Armenian culture.” The letter concludes by urging President Trump to “appropriately mark April 24th as a day of American remembrance of the Armenian Genocide.”
The ANCA has launched a nationwide online letter writing and calling campaign urging Members of Congress to co-sign the Armenian Caucus letter to President Trump. To learn more and take action, visit anca.org/genocide.