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April 2022: Chaldean-American Month

WHEREAS, Chaldeans/Assyrians, a Semitic people who also identify themselves as Syriacs, are the indigenous people of Mesopotamia who have lived in the Middle East since ancient times, including in what is today Iraq, Syria, Turkey, and Iran; and,

WHEREAS, collectively, there are nearly half a million Chaldeans/Assyrians/Syriacs in the United States, including about 160,000 in Michigan, the largest concentration in the country; and,

WHEREAS, the Chaldean/Assyrian/Syriac people have faced systematic persecution in their ancestral homeland; and,

WHEREAS, the Assyrian/Babylonian New Year, Akitu, is a celebration of spring, rebirth, and renewal which often culminates in a celebration on April 1st; and,

WHEREAS, April 24th marks the anniversary of Seyfo, or the Genocide that claimed the lives of a million Chaldeans/Assyrians/Syriacs, Armenians, and Greeks; and,

WHEREAS, the Chaldean Catholic Church, descendant from the Church of the East, commemorates All Martyrs & Confessors Day during the month of April, remembering the Church’s devoted priests, nuns, and laypeople; and,

WHEREAS, the Chaldean/Assyrian/Syriac people are a community of rich tradition and culture who enrich Michigan's cultural tapestry and prosperity through their success in the arts, business, law, politics, education, medicine, architecture, and engineering;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Governor Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim April 2022 as Chaldean-American Month.