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J05233 Text:

Senate Resolution No. 5233
        COMMEMORATING the 93rd Anniversary of the Armenian
        Genocide on Thursday, April 24, 2008
  WHEREAS,  This  Resolution  arises from a sense of human decency and
respect for the Armenian people and their history; and
  WHEREAS, Towards the end of the 19th Century, the Turkish Government
began to systematically persecute their citizens of  Armenian  heritage;
  WHEREAS,  From  1894  to  1896,  Sultan  Abdu-Hamid  II  ordered the
massacre of 300,000  Armenians  living  within  the  boundaries  of  the
Turkish Empire; and
  WHEREAS,  In 1909, 30,000 more Armenian men, women and children were
slaughtered by Turkish armies in the mountain village of Cilicia; and
  WHEREAS, Nonetheless, by the onset  of  World  War  I,  there  still
remained  2,500,000  Armenians  who  made their homes within the Ottoman
Empire; of these, over 250,000 were faithful soldiers who loyally fought
within the ranks of its armies in an effort to  defend  their  homeland;
  WHEREAS,   On  April  24,  1915,  hundreds  of  Armenian  religious,
political,  and  intellectual  leaders  were  rounded  up,  exiled   and
eventually murdered in secret death camps hidden in mountainsides; and
  WHEREAS,  Over  the  course  of  the  next  six months, the Armenian
soldiers on active duty in the army were disarmed and placed  in  forced
labor  battalions,  whereupon  many  either  starved  or  were summarily
executed behind the fences of these camps; and
  WHEREAS, Deprived of their leaders  and  the  young  men  who  could
defend  these  helpless  communities,  the remaining Armenians became an
easy target for the government raids and found themselves at  the  mercy
of cruel and often barbaric persecutors; and
  WHEREAS,  A total of 1,500,000 Armenian men, women and children were
massacred; 500,000 more were exiled; and 500,000 were able to escape the
reign of terror and establish themselves in  new  foreign  lands;  as  a
result,  today  there  are only 100,000 people of Armenian heritage left
residing within the borders of modern Turkey; and
  WHEREAS, The devastation which resulted from this "ethnic cleansing"
practiced by the rulers of the Ottoman  Empire  occurred  in  a  similar
ratio  to  that caused by the Jewish Holocaust of the 1940s, yet most of
the world's peoples do not realize the gravity of the Armenian genocide;
  WHEREAS,  The  Armenian  people  have  been  denied  the  right   to
self-determination  on their ancestral lands; they have received no form
of reparations for their tragic losses; and
  WHEREAS, Members of the Armenian community honor the memory  of  the
victims of this genocide and emphasize that crimes against humanity must
be condemned and never be allowed; now, therefore, be it
  RESOLVED,  That  this Legislative Body pause in its deliberations to
commemorate  the  93rd  Anniversary  of  the  Armenian  Genocide  to  be
recognized  on  Thursday,  April  24,  2008;  on Friday, April 25, 2008,
Armenian Americans from throughout the Northeast will  converge  in  New
York  City to commemorate the anniversary of the 1915 Armenian Genocide;
the day will commence with a commemoration ceremony  at  New  York  City
Hall;  this  year's  Keynote  Speaker  is  Henry Theriault, Professor of
philosophy; in addition, there will be a second convergence of  Armenian
Americans at Times Square in New York City on Sunday, April 27, 2008, to
once  again  commemorate  the anniversary of the 1915 Armenian Genocide;
and be it further
  RESOLVED, That this Resolution is intended to counter  the  tide  of
revisionist history which purports that the Armenian Genocide never took
place; and be it further
  RESOLVED,  That  copies  of  this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be
transmitted  to  Doug  Geogerian,  Chairman  of  the  Armenian  National
Committee of New York and Kenneth V. Hachikian, Chairman of the Armenian
National Committee.
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