ANC NY: New York City Commemorates Armenian Genocide

Armenian National Committee of New York
PO Box 693
Woodside, NY 11377
[email protected]

May 11, 2004
For Immediate Release

Contact: Tony Vartanian
[email protected]


— Remembrance Program Organized by the Armenian National Committee
(ANC) of New York and the Friends of the ANC of New York

NEW YORK, NY–Elected officials from the U.S. Congress, the New York
City Council, Armenia’s ambassador to the United Nations, along with
two eminent historians of genocide, offered enlightening remarks at the
City Hall of New York City on the 89th commemoration of the Armenian
Genocide, which was organized by the Armenian National Committee
(ANC) of New York and the Friends of the ANC of New York. Addressing
an audience of over four hundred at the April 23 event, the invited
speakers took to the podium and applauded recent victories achieved
in global and domestic recognition of the Genocide while speaking
earnestly of the urgent need for further progress.

Following an eloquent invocation by His Eminence Archbishop
Oshagan Choloyan and an introduction by New York ANC chairperson
Tony Vartanian, two City Council members who sponsored the
event spoke of New York City’s support of and dedication to the
Armenian cause. Speaker of the Council A. Gifford Miller and
Councilwoman Melinda Katz affirmed their commitment to serving
their Armenian-American constituency, and praised the hard work and
dedication of Armenians working on their support staffs.

Following the council members, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY),
Congressman Joseph Crowley (D-NY), and Congressman Anthony Weiner
(D-NY) offered their remarks. Ms. Maloney spoke first, describing the
recent breakthroughs in Genocide recognition in Canada, Switzerland
and The New York Times. Congressman Crowley reflected on his recent
opportunity as the first member of Congress to visit Armenia, while
describing for the audience how his experience as an Irish-American
informed his support of the Armenian cause. Congressman Weiner
cogently described how the Ottoman Government conducted the Genocide
and stressed the importance of Jewish support for Armenian genocide
recognition. There followed a short musical interlude, in which the
Armenian a cappella trio Zulal sang two hauntingly beautiful Armenian
folk songs.

After their performance, Professor Peter Balakian of Colgate University
drew upon his best-selling book The Burning Tigris, discussing the
American humanitarian response to the Armenian massacres of the 1890’s
and the Armenian Genocide a quarter century later. “In Faneuil Hall,
social reformers like Julia Ward Howe spoke passionately for the
plight of the Armenians. Organizations like Near East Relief and the
Committee on Armenian Atrocities made up the first American response to
an international human rights crisis. The first full fledged mission
of the American Red Cross outside the United States was in Armenia,”
said Balakian.

Professor. Robert Melson of Purdue University followed Balakian by
making a comparative analysis of the Armenian Genocide and the Jewish
Holocaust. In a unique and effective approach, Dr. Melson explained how
social revolutionary governments, which developed programs for creating
racially pure states, had preceded both. The link between the two
genocides reaffirmed the actuality that the systematic extermination
of the Armenian Genocide was the basis of the model implemented by
the Nazi regime of World War II upon the European Jewish population.

Consistent with the vision of the Armenian National Committee, the
New York chapter encouraged the participation of the young leaders
of the New York American-Armenian community in this years Genocide
Commemoration. Arousiag Markarian spoke on behalf of the community’s
young activists. As the chairperson of the Armenian Youth Federation
of New York and a leader in many other collegiate and community
organizations, Ms. Markarian expressed the vigor and enthusiasm of the
Armenian youth concerning American-Armenian issues. She stressed the
importance of organizations, like the Armenian National Committee,
that provide a channel for the Diaspora to play an active role in
issues that directly affect our communities locally and globally.

Armenia’s ambassador to the United Nations Armen Martirossian concluded
the evening with remarks on Armenia past, present and future. After
speaking about the need for Genocide recognition, Mr. Martirossian
went on tell the audience about the challenges facing the building
of civil society in independent Armenia. His words came as a reminder
that the Armenian-American community still has a large part to play in
both areas. Speaking with conviction, he reminded those present that
“We are the guarantee for the tragedy not to repeat itself.”

The Armenian National Committee (ANC) is the largest Armenian American
grassroots political organization in New York and nationwide. The ANC
actively advances a broad range of issues of concern to the Armenian
American community.


From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

Emil Lazarian

“I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia . See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.” - WS