ANC-ID: Idaho Gov. Issues Proclamation Recognising Armenian Genocide

Armenian National Committee of Idaho
2414 Brumback Street
Boise, Idaho 83702
Tel. (208) 484-4363
Email: [email protected]

April 21, 2004
Contact: Rafael Saakyan
Tel: (208) 484-4363


BOISE, ID – Idaho became the 33rd U.S. state to recognize the Armenian
Genocide this week, as Republican Governor Dirk Kempthorne, Chairman
of National Governors Association, issued a proclamation citing April
24th “Idaho Day of Remembrance of the Armenian Genocide of 1915-1923,”
reported the Armenian National Committee of Idaho (ANC-Idaho).

The proclamation begins noting that “one and one-half-million
Christian Armenian men, women, and children were the victims of a
brutal genocide perpetrated by the Ottoman Turkish Government from
1915-1923.” It goes on to cite the importance of commemorating this
crime against humanity as a way of “guarding against the repetition of
future genocides and educating people about the atrocities connected
to these horrific crimes.” The complete text of the Governor’s
proclamation is provided below.

The gubernatorial proclamation closely follows a resolution
unanimously adopted by the Senate of the Associated Students of Boise
State University (ASBSU) recognizing the Armenian Genocide and
condemning efforts to rewrite history. Senate Resolution 13 states
that the genocide “has resulted in the elimination of the Armenian
people from their historic homeland of over 3000 years through the
criminal loss of property and life.” The resolution “commemorates the
Armenian Genocide and condemns those attempts made by governments as
well as other entities, both public and private, to distort the
historical reality and legal relevance of the Armenian Genocide to the
descendants of its survivors and humanity as a whole.”

Upon hearing the news of the Governor’s proclamation, David Morriss,
President of the ASBSU, commented: “I think it’s fantastic that the
Governor not only recognizes the importance of bringing this
information to light, but also stands behind efforts to educate the
public about the Armenian Genocide”.

Chairman of ANC-Idaho, Rafael Saakyan, commended Governor Kempthorne
on his “commitment to advancing human rights issues in the state of
Idaho and for joining the Armenian community across this great state
in sustaining the flame of remembrance for the victims of the Armenian
Genocide.” Saakyan then urged the Idaho Congressional delegation to
“ensure that their state’s views are well represented through their
support for the adoption of the Genocide resolution in the House and

Rebecca Kun, communications director for ANC-Idaho, worked closely
with the ANC-Idaho team to collect close to 600 signatures for the
proclamation request. “This was a marathon process — we collected 594
signatures in 2 1/2 weeks in order to get our proclamation request
submitted in time to meet the April 24th deadline we set for
ourselves. With this proclamation and the Boise State initiative it
is clear that the Armenian community, working together, can make a
real difference.” Ms. Kun continued, stating “as a first generation
holocaust survivor, I understand the importance of bringing these
events to light. Having this proclamation signed by both the State of
Idaho and Boise State University is the first step to correct the
dissemination of lies that has been perpetuated for the last 89

Massachusetts State Republican Committee man Bob Semonian of
Watertown, MA helped the ANC-Idaho bring their concerns to the
attention of the Governor’s office. Semonian discussed the importance
of the recognition of the Armenian Genocide with Gov. Kempthorne
directly at the recent National Governor’s Association (NGA) meeting
in Washington, DC.

The Idaho proclamation follows an earlier letter of recognition issued
by Montana’s Republican Governor Judith Martz in late March.
Jamestown North Dakota Mayor Charles Kourajian issued a city
proclamation honoring the victims of the Armenian Genocide last week.


Text of the Idaho Proclamation Commemorating the Armenian Genocide
———————————————- ———————

The Office of the Governor

Executive Department
State of Idaho

State Capitol

WHEREAS, one and one-half-million Christian Armenian men, women, and
children were victims of a brutal genocide perpetrated by the Ottoman
Turkish Government from 1915-1923; and

WHEREAS, the Armenian genocide and massacres of Armenian people have
been recognized as an attempt to eliminate all traces of a thriving
and noble civilization over 3,000 years old; and

WHEREAS, recognition of the eighty-ninth anniversary of this genocide
is crucial to guarding against the repetition of future genocide and
educating people about the atrocities connected to these horrific
events; and

WHEREAS, Armenian-Americans living in Idaho have greatly enriched our
state through their leadership in business, agriculture, academia,
government and the arts;

NOW, THEREFORE I, DIRK KEMPTHORNE, Governor of the State of Idaho, do
hereby proclaim April 24, 2004, to be


IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused to be
affixed the Great Seal of the State of Idaho at the Capitol in Boise
on this twentieth day of April in the year of our Lord two- thousand
and four and of the Independence of the United States of America the
two hundred twenty-eighth and of the Statehood of Idaho the one
hundred fourteenth.