Colorado’s legislature establishes Sardarapat Armenian Memorial Highway

On April 24-25, 2018, during the annual legislative commemorations of the Armenian Genocide, the Colorado House of Representatives and the State Senate unanimously passed House Joint Resolution 18-1019 that designates a major state highway in the Centennial State in honor of the heroic May 28, 1918 Sardarapat Battle that paved the way to the establishment of the independent Republic of Armenia.

“We applaud the Colorado legislature’s establishment of the Sardarapat Armenian Memorial Highway ahead of the 100th anniversary of Armenian independence and congratulate our grassroots in Colorado for this newest coup of vibrant Armenian American activism in the Centennial State,” remarked ANCA-Western Region chair Nora Hovsepian, Esq. “As we commemorate the 1.5 million victims of the Armenian Genocide, we also recall the survivors’ great sacrifices to creating the independent Republic of Armenia that saved our ancient civilization from complete eradication. This permanent and unique memorial to the battle that saved the Armenian homeland makes the Sardarapat Armenian Memorial Highway a cause of celebration for Armenians across the world and especially in the Armenian Homeland,” continued Hovsepian.

Championed by the Colorado House Assistant Minority Leader Cole Wist of Centennial and co-primed by fellow Representative Jeff Bridges and State Senators Dominick Moreno and Jack Tate, House Joint Resolution 18-1019 designates the four-mile portion of Arapahoe Road between Interstate 25 and Parker Road – which connects Centennial and Aurora, two cities with large Armenian American populations – as Sardarapat Armenian Memorial Highway “in honor of Armenian Genocide survivors’ valiant contributions in creating the independent Republic of Armenia one hundred years ago.”

In a statement hailing the legislature’s vote, the joint Sardarapat Armenian Memorial Committee of Armenians of Colorado (AOC) and ANCA-Colorado dedicated the news of the new highway to yesterday’s victory in Armenia. “We wholeheartedly thank the Colorado General Assembly for commemorating the Armenian Genocide through a memorial highway that celebrates the Armenian people’s fearless determination to exist in a free and independent homeland. The timing of the resolution could not have been better. Two days ago, after days of mass peaceful protests and widespread civil disobedience, the freedom loving youth of Armenia compelled the resignation of the country’s Prime Minister after he broke the promise to not serve a third-term and threatened protesters with violence. This week, Armenians in Colorado simultaneously mourn the victims of the Genocide and celebrate the triumph of people-powered democracy in the Armenian Homeland.”

The official unveiling of the Sardarapat Armenian Memorial Highway signs will take place later this spring.

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