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90_HR0113 LRB9002710CBcbA 1 HOUSE RESOLUTION 2 WHEREAS, The United States has always been a haven for 3 the persecuted and oppressed, whether by reason of religion 4 or nationality; and 5 WHEREAS, We who cherish our freedom can never take it for 6 granted; we who respect justice can never be totally secure 7 in it; and 8 WHEREAS, When freedom is challenged anywhere, all 9 humankind must rise up in protest; we must all use our voices 10 and our influence to meet those challenges and help protect 11 individual life and liberty; and 12 WHEREAS, No other human rights violation deserves greater 13 protest and attention and demands firmer condemnation by 14 freedom-loving people than genocide; and 15 WHEREAS, For the Armenian people, the horror and 16 inhumanity of this devastating crime began in 1915 when young 17 men of Armenian origin were drafted into the Turkish army, 18 soon to be disarmed, transferred to labor battalions, and 19 then massacred; and 20 WHEREAS, On April 24, 1915, authorities of the Ottoman 21 Empire arrested the most prominent intellectuals and leaders 22 of Constantinople; they were exiled to the interior of 23 Anatolia, either perishing on the way or meeting their fate 24 on arrival; and 25 WHEREAS, The Armenians were rounded up, brutally driven 26 from their homes and their land, separated from families, 27 robbed of everything they owned, and stripped of possessions 28 they carried with them; and 29 WHEREAS, On a death march to Der-El-Zor, more than a 30 million died of starvation or were killed; thousands of -2- LRB9002710CBcbA 1 Christian Armenians were tortured and murdered for refusing 2 to accept Islam as their religion; the atrocities inflicted 3 on Armenians in concentration camps and on death marches to 4 Der-El-Zor in the Syrian desert resemble those of the 5 Holocaust of World War II; and 6 WHEREAS, During this act of genocide, 1.5 million people 7 of Armenian ancestry were victims from 1915 to 1923; at the 8 outbreak of World War I, the Young Turk regime decided to 9 deport the entire Armenian population of about 1.75 million 10 to Syrian and Mesopotamia; and 11 WHEREAS, Talaat Pasha, leader of the Young Turk movement, 12 was the principal author of the plan to exterminate the 13 Armenians; the plan of genocide consisted of deporting all 14 Armenians of whatever age or condition of health to the 15 totally barren Der-El-Zor region of what is now Syria; and 16 WHEREAS, The massacre of Armenians who remained in Turkey 17 was called the "most colossal crime of all ages" by the 18 examining American military mission's report to the United 19 States Congress; and 20 WHEREAS, In a telegram sent by U.S. Ambassador Henry 21 Morgenthau to the Secretary of State, Morgenthau warned that 22 "a campaign of race extermination is in progress under a 23 pretext of reprisal against rebellion"; and 24 WHEREAS, Each year, with solemn religious and patriotic 25 ceremony, Armenians in the international community honor 26 those who died in 1915 and remind all people that genocide on 27 any scale is a crime against all humanity; and 28 WHEREAS, Adolph Hitler, when questioned as to the "final 29 solution" to the Jewish question, said, "Who remembers the 30 Armenians?"; and 31 WHEREAS, April 24, 1997 will be commemorated by Armenians -3- LRB9002710CBcbA 1 in this country and throughout the world in remembrance of 2 the first instance of genocide in this century; and 3 WHEREAS, The People of Illinois, as represented by the 4 General Assembly and the Governor, should be mindful of these 5 tragic events, should further assure that no future tyrant 6 may ever ask the question asked by Hitler and should act in a 7 spirit of justice and humanity to designate April 24, 1997 as 8 Armenian Martyrs Day, a day of remembrance of man's 9 inhumanity to man; therefore, be it 10 RESOLVED, BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE 11 NINETIETH GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, that we 12 commemorate April 24, 1997 as a day of remembrance of the 13 82nd anniversary of the Armenian Genocide of 1915-1923; and 14 be it further 15 RESOLVED, That we call upon the people of Illinois to 16 observe that day by remembering the 1.5 million people of 17 Armenian ancestry who lost their lives during that terrible 18 time; and be it further 19 RESOLVED, That we request Governor Jim Edgar to proclaim 20 April 24, 1997 as a day of remembrance in honor of the 21 victims of the Armenian Genocide; and be it further 22 RESOLVED, That a suitable copy of this resolution be 23 presented to Governor Jim Edgar.
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