Alabama has officially become the 49th U.S. state to recognize the Armenian Genocide. Governor Kay Ivey issued a powerful proclamation recognizing the Ottoman Turkish Empire’s centrally-planned and executed annihilation of close to three million Armenians, Greeks, Assyrians and Syriacs from 1915-1923, reports the Armenian National Committee of America – Eastern Region (ANCA-ER).
With the addition of Alabama as the 49th state, Mississippi remains as the last U.S. state to officially recognize the Armenian Genocide.
“We welcome this proclamation by Governor Ivey, making Alabama the 49th state in the union to officially re-affirm this international crime against humanity,” said ANCA-ER Board Chairman Steve Mesrobian. “This proclamation serves as a powerful reminder that truth about genocides should never be held hostage to the denial of its perpetrators and those who continue to profit from that crime. We salute the Alabama Armenian community and our ANCA coalition partners who together stand united in our efforts to create awareness about the Armenian Genocide and prevent future such atrocities,” said Mesrobian.
While Governor Ivey’s proclamation notes that the Ottoman Turkish government’s crime “still requires justice,” it also provides a glimpse into Alabama’s active participation in the Near East Relief’s efforts during the Armenian Genocide as well as the U.S. recognition of the Armenian Genocide in 1951. The proclamation recognizes genocides that followed the Armenian Genocide as well as the act of genocide committed against Christians and Yazidis by ISIL, recognizing that proper commemoration and awareness and education about the Armenian Genocide helps ensure that similar atrocities do not occur again.
“I am so proud of the work that the ANC of Alabama and our friends in Alabama have done to obtain this official recognition of the Armenian Genocide,” said ANC of Alabama activist Jack Hagopian. “Armenians have long called Alabama home, aiding in the education and awareness of the Armenian Genocide throughout the state. It brings me great pleasure to know that our work has been successful. I know that we will continue to educate, motivate and activate our community to ensure that the cycle of genocide comes to an end.”
Armenians throughout the world commemorate the Genocide on April 24 because on that date in 1915 a group of Armenian intellectuals was rounded up and assassinated in Constantinople by the Ottoman government. On April 24, Armenians worldwide will be commemorating the 104th anniversary of the Genocide which continued until 1923. Some three dozen countries, hundreds of local government bodies and international organizations have so far recognized the killings of 1.5 million Armenians as Genocide. Turkey denies to this day.