DES MOINES, IOWA — On Thursday, August 24, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds signed a proclamation memorializing the Armenian Genocide and declaring October 2017 as “Armenia Awareness Month” in the Hawkeye State, announced the ANC.
Iowa is now the 47th U.S State to officially recognize the Armenian Genocide.
The proclamation 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—Easter Region (ANCA-ER).
“Iowa’s commemoration and condemnation of the Armenian Genocide striles a powerful blow against the hatred and intolerance which contribute to the ongoing the vicious cycle of genocide plaguing society to this day,” said Sahakyan, an ANCA-ER Board Member, and added: “We would like to thank Governor Reynolds, Representative Art Staed, and all of our coalition partners for their principled stance in ensuring that truth prevails against international attempts to subvert justice for this and all other crimes against humanity.”
Coordinator for the Iowans for Armenia, Charles Crawley said, “As an civilized humanity, we all should care about the Armenian Genocide and all other crimes against humanity. ‘Iowans for Armenia’ is proud to continue the relationship created between the American and Armenian people that stretches back to humanitarian assistance provided by the missionaries and people of good conscience of our great state through the Near East Relief. Today’s signing of the proclamation was an important step in securing some measure of justice for the Armenian, Assyrian, and Greek people.”
Noting that the Ottoman Turkish government’s crime “still requires justice,” Governor Reynolds’ Proclamation cited Adolph Hitler’s ominous reference to the murder of the Armenian people just days prior to his invasion of Poland and the ensuing Holocaust, which claimed the lives of over 6 million Jews and resulted in the decimation of other targeted racial and religious minorities. The document recounts the cycle of subsequent genocides of the 20th and 21st centuries, specifically citing the 2016 Congressional condemnation of the Islamic State genocide against the Middle East Christians, Yezidis, and other minorities. It concludes with the assertion that 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.”
Philos Project Executive Director
The Philos Project Executive Director Robert Nicholson noted, “The Ottoman Genocide of the Armenian people was one of the most brutal acts in history and clear evidence that evil still moves in the world. To deny the genocide is to ignore that evil, and to ignore that evil is to betray our values as Americans. By recognizing the genocide, the people of Iowa are declaring their willingness to defend human life, protect minority communities, and preserve our national heritage. We at the Philos Project thank and congratulate Governor Reynolds for her boldness and moral clarity. She epitomizes the kind of principled leader we need more of today.”