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169 House Members Call on President Bush to Recognize Armenian Genocide

April 21, 2004
Press Release
Washington, D.C. -- In a letter to President Bush, 169 members of the U.S. House of Representatives today called on the president to recognize the atrocities committed against the Armenian people in 1915 as "genocide" during his annual April 24th c ommemorative statement. To date, no U.S. president has used the term "genocide" to describe the atrocities committed against 1.5 million Armenians.

In the letter, organized by U.S. Reps. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) and Joe Knollenberg (R-MI), cochairmen of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues, the lawmakers urge the President to reaffirm the United States record on the Genocide and to grant Genocide victims and survivors their proper place in history.

"By properly recognizing the atrocities committed against the Armenian people as 'genocide' in your statement, you will honor the many Americans who helped launch our first international human rights campaign to end the carnage and protect the survivors," the members wrote to President Bush. "The official U.S. response mirrored the overwhelming reaction by the American public to this crime against humanity, and as such, constitutes a proud, irrefutable and groundbreaking chapter in U.S. diplomatic history.

"Now more than ever as your administration seeks to bring an end to global terrorism and to help establish democracies in Afghanistan and Iraq, the memory of the genocide underscores our responsibility to help convey our cherished tradition of respect for fundamental human rights and opposition to mass slaughters," the lawmakers continued. "The victims of the Genocide deserve our remembrance and their rightful place in history. It is in the best interests of our nation and the entire global community to remember the past and learn from these crimes against humanity to ensure that they are never repeated."

April 24th marks the anniversary of the systematic and deliberate campaign of genocide perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire in 1915. Over the following eight years, one and a half million Armenians were tortured and murdered, and more than half a million were forced from their homeland into exile. In the years since, descendants of Armenian immigrants have thrived in the United States and in many other countries, bringing extraordinary vitality and achievement to communities across this nation and throughout the world.

The Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues will once again organize members to speak on the floor of the House of Representatives on April 24th to officially commemorate the genocide by speaking out about the atrocities that occurred more than 80 years ago. The Co-Chairmen would like to thank the Armenian Advocacy organizations and the Armenian American Community for all of their help and dedication.

The members who signed the letter to President Bush are listed below.

Frank Pallone, Jr., Joseph Knollenberg, George Radanovich, Adam Schiff, Joseph Crowley, Michael McNulty, Brad Sherman, Mark Souder, Devin Nunes, Anna Eshoo, Edward Markey, John Olver, Barney Frank, Grace Napolitano, Randy "Duke" Cunningham, Carolyn Maloney, John Sweeney, Edolphus Towns, Anthony D. Weiner, Chris VanHollen, Christopher Smith, Robert Andrews, James P. McGovern, Steven LaTourette, Patrick J. Kennedy, Peter J. Visclosky, Howard Berman, Sue W. Kelly, Maurice Hinchey, Eleanor Holmes-Norton, Barbara Lee, Steve Israel, Vernon Ehlers, John Dingell, Betty McCollum, Frank Wolf, Christopher Shays, Loretta Sanchez, Buck McKeon, Tim Holden, Lucille Roybal-Allard, Butch Otter, Jerry F. Costello, Tom Allen, Mark Steven Kirk, Sherrod Brown, Michael Bilirakis, Edward R. Royce, Tammy Baldwin, John McHugh, Henry Waxman, Peter DeFazio, Xavier Becerra, Stephen F. Lynch, John B. Larson, Marcy Kaptur, Carolyn McCarthy, Stephanie Tubbs-Jones, Sander Levin, Curt Weldon, Ken Calvert, Scott Garrett, John Shimkus, Frank LoBiondo, Donald Payne, Dennis Kucinich, Nick Lampson, William Lipinski, Fortney Pete Stark, Danny K. Davis, Jim Matheson, Thaddeus McCotter, Dale Kildee, Jesse Jackson, Jr., Lane Evans, Nita Lowey, John Lewis, Ral M. Grijalva, William Lacy Clay, Vito Fossella, Carolyn C. Kilpatrick , Neil Abercrombie, Zoe Lofgren, Joe Baca, James Langevin, John Doolittle, Michael Honda, Steny H. Hoyer, Chaka Fattah, Luis Gutierrez, Jim Saxton, James T. Walsh, Bobby Rush, Collin Peterson, Sherrod Boehlert, Karen McCarthy, Michael Capuano, Dave Camp, Diane Watson, Mike Ferguson, Richard Neal, Hilda Solis, John Conyers, Jr., Mike Thompson, Robert Simmons, Michael Rogers, Steven Rothman, Rodney Frelinghuysen, Bob Filner, Mark Foley, Timothy Bishop, Eliot Engel, Joe Wilson, Martin T. Meehan, Rosa DeLauro, Mary Bono, Dennis Cardoza, Rahm Emanuel, Benjamin Cardin, William Delahunt, Albert Wynn, Mark Udall, Jim McDermott, Paul Ryan, Earl Blumenauer, Susan Davis, John Tierney, Joseph Hoeffel, Shelley Berkley, Nancy Pelosi, David Dreier, Jeb Bradley, Rush Holt, Lynn Woolsey, Charles Rangel, Lloyd Doggett, Bart Gordon, Mike Ross, Ellen Tauscher, Mick McIntyre, Dana Rohrabacher, Gary Ackerman, Robert Matsui, Elton Gallegly, Michael Michaud, Maxine Waters, Bernard Sanders, Robert Menendez, Lois Capps, Richard Pombo, Sam Farr, George Miller, Charles F. Bass, Jerry Weller, William Pascrell, Michael Doyle, Doug Ose, Sheila Jackson-Lee, Nancy Johnson, Linda Sanchez, Jerrold Nadler, Chris Bell, Gerald Kleczka, Jim Greenwood, Lincoln Diaz-Balart, Darrell Issa, Candice Miller, Janice Schakowsky, Jon C. Porter