US Legislators Press for Adoption of Armenian Genocide Resolution At Capitol Hill Remembrance

ANCA Backs Bipartisan House and Senate Measures Targeting Turkey’s Denial

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WASHINGTON, DC – Lead authors of the Armenian Genocide Resolution in the U.S. House – Reps. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) – pledged to press for passage of their bipartisan legislation during a standing-room-only Capitol Hill Armenian Genocide Observance that gave voice to the growing bipartisan Congressional consensus against Turkey’s Armenian Genocide gag-rule, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

This year’s remembrance, held on the top floor of the U.S. Senate’s iconic Hart building, focused, in large measure, on newly introduced Armenian Genocide legislation in both the House and Senate. These measures aim to establish – as a matter of official policy – that the United States is committed to the ongoing commemoration of the Armenian Genocide, forthrightly rejects any and all forms of its denial, and encourages public education regarding the facts and lessons of this crime. The Senate version was introduced today by Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Ted Cruz (R-TX), along with 14 of their Senate colleagues. The House version of the measure, H.Res.296, was introduced yesterday with 76 original cosponsors.

“We want to thank the Congressional Armenian Caucus, our community leadership, and coalition partners, for a strong showing of both grassroots and legislative support for ending Turkey’s gag-rule against honest American remembrance of the Armenian Genocide,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian.  “We look forward to working with all our allies to secure the adoption of the Armenian Genocide Resolution in both the Senate and the House.”

Among the legislators who took part in the remembrance were Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chairs Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), and Jackie Speier (D-CA), Vice-Chair Adam Schiff and Representatives Judy Chu (D-CA), Katherine Clark (D-MA), Jim Costa (D-CA), TJ Cox (D-CA), Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), Brad Schneider (D-IL), Brad Sherman (D-CA), and Peter Visclosky (D-IN).

The Mistress of Ceremonies for the Capitol Hill Armenian Genocide commemoration was veteran Capitol Hill staffer Elise Kenderian Aronson.  Joining Congressional leaders in offering remarks were His Excellency Varuzhan Nersesyan, Ambassador of Armenia to the U.S., His Excellency Robert Avetisyan, Republic of Artsakh Representative to the U.S., former U.S. Ambassador to Armenia John Evans, and Maria Martirosyan, the Co-Chair of the Congressional Armenian Staffers Association.  Joining in the solemn commemoration was Maryland General Assembly delegate Lorig Charkoudian.  His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielian, Prelate of the Armenian Apostolic Church of Eastern U.S., offered a moving invocation for the evening, while His Eminence Archbishop Vicken Aykazian, Legate of the Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church of the Eastern U.S.,  offered the closing prayer.  Homenetmen Armenian Scout Troup #1918 was among the broad cross-section of Armenian American community organizations in attendance at the annual commemoration program, which also included the participation of Fr. Sarkis Aktavoukian, pastor of the Soorp Khatch Armenian Apostolic Church of Bethesda, Maryland and parishioners from area churches, including St. Mary’s Armenian Apostolic Church.

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ANCA

The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) is the largest and most influential Armenian-American grassroots organization. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters and supporters throughout the United States and affiliated organizations around the world, the ANCA actively advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues. To learn more, visit www.anca.org.

3 Comments

  1. Hoping finally for passage. My grandfather Aaron Sachaklian was a pillar in the early days of the Hairenik. Two minor corrections on titles. Senator Ted Cruz represents Texas not California and the correct title for the Prelate of the Armenian Apostolic Church of Eastern U. S. is His Eminence, not His Grace as has been shown in some of the postings.

    • i assume you are referring to Aaron Sachaklian of the “Sacred Justice: The Voices and Legacy of the Armenian Operation Nemesis” by Marian Mesrobian MacCurdy. A must read.

  2. I believe it is wrong for ANCA to claim that Turkey has imposed a gag-rule over an implied willing administration/s. Much like the past 17 administrations, this administration as well has not recognized the Armenian Genocide for political expediency, much like many other countries. It is disingenuous of ANCA to claim in its mission statement that the U.S. formally recognized the Armenian Genocide in 1951 and 1981.
    The U.S. Armenian Genocide recognition and hence its advocacy will come about only when the U.S. Congress resolves that the 1915 historical happening constituted genocide.

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