2013 -- H 6034

Enacted 04/24/13







     Introduced By: Representatives Kazarian, Corvese, Nunes, Mattiello, and Chippendale

     Date Introduced: April 24, 2013



     WHEREAS, Armenians living in their historic homeland in Asia Minor were subjected to

severe persecution and brutal injustice by the Turkish rulers of the Ottoman Empire before and

after the turn of the twentieth century, including widespread acts of destruction, mayhem, and

murder during the period from 1894 to 1896, and again in 1909; and

     WHEREAS, The horrible experience of the Armenians at the hands of their Turkish

oppressors culminated with what is known by historians as the "First Genocide of the Twentieth

Century" or the "Forgotten Genocide"; and

     WHEREAS, The Armenian Genocide began with the murder of hundreds of Armenian

intellectuals and political, religious, and business leaders who were arrested and taken from their

homes in Constantinople before dawn on April 24, 1915; and

     WHEREAS, The Young Turk regime then in control of the empire planned and executed

the unspeakable atrocities committed against the Armenians from 1915 through 1923, including

the torture, starvation, and murder of 1.5 million Armenians, death marches into the Syrian

desert, and the exile of more than 500,000 innocent people; and

     WHEREAS, While there were some Turks who jeopardized their safety in order to

protect Armenians from the slaughter being perpetrated by the Young Turk regime, the massacres

of the Armenians constituted one of the most atrocious violations of human rights in the history

of the world; and

     WHEREAS, The United States Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, Henry Morgenthau,

Sr., stated "Whatever crimes the most perverted instincts of the human mind can devise, and

whatever refinements of persecutions and injustice the most debased imagination can

conceive, became the daily misfortunes of other devoted people. I am confident that the whole

history of the human race contains no such horrible episode as this. The great massacres and

persecutions of the past seem almost insignificant when compared to the sufferings of the

Armenian race in 1915. The killing of the Armenian people was accompanied by the systematic

destruction of churches, schools, libraries, treasures of art, and cultural monuments in an

attempt to eliminate all traces of a noble civilization with a history of more than 3,000 years";


     WHEREAS, Contemporary newspapers like the New York Times carried headlines

including, "Tales of Armenian Horrors Confirmed," "Million Armenians Killed or in Exile,"

and "Wholesale Massacre of Armenians by Turks"; and

     WHEREAS, Adolph Hitler, in persuading his army commanders that the merciless

persecution and killing of Jews, Poles, and other groups of people would bring no retribution,

declared, "Who after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians"; and

     WHEREAS, Unlike other groups and governments that have admitted the abuses and

crimes of predecessor regimes, and despite the overwhelming weight of the evidence, the

Republic of Turkey has denied the occurrence of the crimes against humanity committed by the

Young Turk rulers, and those denials compound the grief of the few remaining survivors of the

atrocities and desecrate the memory of the victims; and

     WHEREAS, Nations of the world have suffered reprisals and condemnations by Turkey

because of efforts to commemorate the Armenian Genocide; and

     WHEREAS, There have been concerted efforts to revise history through the

dissemination of propaganda suggesting that Armenians were responsible for their fate in the

period from 1915 through 1923  and  by  the  funding  of  programs  at  American  educational

 institutions  for  the  purpose  of furthering the cause of this revisionism and to counter, in

the words of a Turkish official, "the Armenian view"; and

     WHEREAS, Leaders of nations with strategic, commercial, and cultural ties to the

Republic of Turkey should be reminded of their duty to encourage Turkish officials to cease

efforts to distort facts and deny the history of events surrounding the Armenian Genocide; and

     WHEREAS, The accelerated level and scope of denial and revisionism, coupled with the

passage of time and the fact that very few survivors remain who serve as reminders of

indescribable brutality and tormented lives, compel a sense of urgency in efforts to solidify

recognition of historical truth; and

     WHEREAS,  By  consistently  remembering  and  forcefully  condemning  the  atrocities

 committed against the Armenians and honoring the survivors, as well as other victims of similar

heinous conduct, we guard against repetition of those acts of genocide; and

     WHEREAS, Rhode Island is home to a large population of Armenians, and those citizens

have enriched our state through their leadership in the fields of business, agriculture, academia,

medicine, government, and the arts and are proud and patriotic practitioners of American

citizenship; now, therefore be it

     RESOLVED, That this House of Representatives of the State of Rhode Island and

Providence Plantations hereby designates April 24, 2013, as "Rhode Island Remembrance of the

Armenian Genocide of 1915 - 1923"; and be it further

     RESOLVED, That this House hereby respectfully memorializes the Congress of the

United States to likewise act to commemorate the Armenian Genocide; and be it further

     RESOLVED, That the Secretary of State be and hereby is authorized and directed to

transmit duly certified copies of this resolution to The Honorable Barack Obama, President of the

United States, the Rhode Island Congressional Delegation, The Honorable Lincoln Chafee,

Governor of the State of Rhode Island, and The Armenian National Committee in Washington,