As the 2016 Republican Convention convenes in Cleveland, Ohio next week, the Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly) embarked on an Armenian Genocide billboard campaign prominently displaying the statement of President Ronald Reagan affirming the Armenian Genocide, the Assembly said in a press release.
With nearly 50,000 people expected at the Convention in Cleveland, the billboards are part of the Assembly's ongoing public awareness initiative. They serve as a reminder about the need to affirm the truth and learn from the past so as to prevent future genocides, the Assembly said.
During his first term in office, President Reagan issued a proclamation which read in part: "Like the Genocide of the Armenians before it, and the genocide of the Cambodians which followed it - and like too many other such persecutions of too many other peoples - the lessons of the Holocaust must never be forgotten."
The first two billboards, located near Grant Avenue (close to where the Convention will be held) and Carnegie Avenue westbound, features an excerpt from President Ronald Reagan's proclamation on April 22, 1981.
Donated by Debbie Abdalian-Thompson, owner of Cleveland Outdoor Advertising, the Assembly put up two of the billboards to commemorate the 101st anniversary of the Armenian Genocide and to promote public awareness during the Convention. A third billboard was added following Germany's affirmation of the Armenian Genocide on June 2. The most recent billboard reads: "Truth vs National Interest" and "Thank You Germany for Recognizing the Armenian Genocide."