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April 24, 2024: Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day

WHEREAS, the State of Michigan joins human rights advocates and historians from around the world to recognize and mourn the 1.5 million Armenians who perished in the Armenian Genocide as ordered by the government of the Ottoman Empire, which began on April 24, 1915, with the arrest, exile, and murder of hundreds of intellectuals, political, religious, and business leaders; and,

WHEREAS, during the 1915-1923 Genocide, Armenian survivors were forced to witness the slaughter of their relatives and the loss of their ancestral land and property in what is now known as the “First Genocide of the 20th Century;” and,

WHEREAS, the State of Michigan declared in Act 558 of 2002 that April 24 of each year shall be the Michigan Day of Remembrance of the Armenian Genocide of 1915-1923; and,

WHEREAS, the failure to learn from the past allows history to repeat itself as the world saw during the 2020 Nagorno-Karabagh war when the military forces of Azerbaijan and Turkey attacked the Armenian civilian population of Nagorno-Karabagh, resulting in casualties and loss of ancestral land and property, motivated by the same genocidal campaign that their ancestors suffered 108 years earlier; and,

WHEREAS, Azerbaijan’s ethnic cleansing campaign continues to this day against the 120,000 Armenians of Nagorno-Karabagh through suppression of their freedom of movement and fundamental rights to life and liberty, despite strong statements of protest and condemnation by the United States, the European Union, and human rights organizations; and,

WHEREAS, the state of Michigan is honored to join the Armenian-American community in its commemoration of the 108th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide in an effort to educate others about the tragic loss of life, land, and human rights of the Armenian people and the crime of genocide committed against them, as well as Greeks and Assyrians, due to religious and political beliefs;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim April 24, 2024, as Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day in Michigan.