Pallone Leads Letter Calling on President Trump to Commemorate the Armenian Genocide
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Frank Pallone Jr. (NJ-06), Co-Chair of the Armenian Issues Caucus, along with 101 members of Congress, sent the following letter to President Trump asking that he commemorate April 24th as a day of American remembrance of the Armenian Genocide. Congressman Pallone helped organize and attended the Armenian Issues Caucus’ commemoration of the Armenian Genocide on Capitol Hill that took place this week and on Sunday he will attend the commemoration in Times Square. Last fall, Pallone traveled to Armenia, where he expressed his long-held belief that the United States should appropriately recognize the Armenian Genocide.
The text of the letter is below:
April 20, 2018
President Donald J. Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20500
Dear President Trump:
We are writing to urge you to properly commemorate the 103rd Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide on April 24th.
In leading an honest and accurate American remembrance of this known case of genocide, you will stand with President Reagan, who recognized the Armenian Genocide in 1981, and the Eisenhower Administration, which did the same in a 1951 submission to the International Court of Justice. The House of Representatives has also commemorated the Armenian Genocide, through H.J.Res.148 in 1975 and H.J.Res.247 in 1984.
Armenia remains deeply committed to expanding the bonds of friendship that have long connected the American and Armenian peoples. Among the proudest chapters in our shared history is America's remarkable record of protesting the Genocide and in caring for the survivors of this crime. The United States Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire in 1915, Henry Morgenthau, helped to chronicle the brutal extermination of the Armenian people through a campaign of mass murder and violent expulsion.
In the years after the genocide, Ambassador Morgenthau and other concerned Americans launched the Near East Relief, a congressionally chartered humanitarian organization, which raised $116 million (over $2.7 billion in 2018 dollars) to aid the victims of the Ottoman Empire's mass murder of millions of Armenians, Assyrians, Chaldeans, Greeks, Syriacs, and other persecuted peoples. The generosity of the American people saved countless lives and helped to ensure the continued survival of the Armenian culture.
The Armenian Genocide continues to stand as an important reminder that crimes against humanity must not go without recognition and condemnation. Through recognition of the Armenian Genocide we pay tribute to the perseverance and determination of those who survived, as well as to the Americans of Armenian descent who continue to strengthen our country to this day. It is our duty to honor those contributions with an honest statement of history recognizing the massacre of 1.5 million Armenians as the 20th century’s first genocide. By commemorating the Armenian Genocide, we renew our commitment to prevent future atrocities.
In the spirit of honoring the victims and redoubling our commitment to prevent genocide, we ask you to appropriately mark April 24th as a day of American remembrance of the Armenian Genocide.
Thank you for taking our views into consideration.