AAA: Activist Praised For “Kansas-Armenia Partnership Day” Proclamat

Armenian Assembly of America
122 C Street, NW, Suite 350
Washington, DC 20001
Phone: 202-393-3434
Fax: 202-638-4904
Email: [email protected]
May 14, 2004
CONTACT: David Zenian
E-mail: [email protected]


Washington, DC – The Armenian Assembly this week praised Kansas
Armenian activist Alex Kotoyantz for his single-handed efforts and
role in securing a proclamation designating June 18 as “Kansas-Armenia
Partnership Day.”

“It is often true that a handful of dedicated people can be more
effective than a large group which remains passive. In the case of
Kansas, where no more than a few hundred Armenians live, the efforts
of one man, Alex Kotoyantz, made a profound difference and we thank
him for his hard work and determination,” Assembly Executive Director
Ross Vartian said.

Kotoyantz, a retired geologist and engineer who worked for the Kansas
Department of Transportation for 39 years, is an Armenian immigrant
from Iraq – the country he left 54 years ago to settle in the United

Kotoyantz worked closely with Assembly activists and Minnesota
State Chair Lou Ann Matossian and several Assembly staff members in
Washington to secure the “Kansas-Armenia Partnership Day” proclamation
recognizing the importance of the recently-forged relationship between
the Kansas National Guard and Armenia within the framework of the
State’s Partnership Program.

His efforts paid off, and on April 27, Kansas State Governor Kathleen
Sebelius issued a special proclamation which said in part:

“Whereas, Kansas is proud to partner with Armenia in
military-to-military, military-to-civilian, and civilian-to-civilian
contacts and development, and

“Whereas, the Kansas National Guard hopes that this endeavor will
foster goodwill between Kansas and Armenia and achieve a secure,
prosperous and dignified future for the citizens of Armenia, and

“Whereas, Kansas is grateful for the contribution of Armenian Americans
who have chosen Kansas as their adopted homeland; they have employed
wisdom, courage, and centuries-old traditions to enrich the character
of our state.

“Now, Therefore, I, Kathleen Sebelius, Governor of the State of Kansas,
salute the modern nation of Armenia and Armenians everywhere, and do
hereby proclaim June 18, 2004, as: Kansas-Armenia Partnership Day.”

The governor’s proclamation was signed at a special ceremony which
was held at the Capitol in Topeka, Kansas. Alex Kotoyantz was the
only Armenian present at the ceremony which was attended by state
legislators and ranking Kansas National Guard officers.

In a statement, Kansas National Guard’s Adjutant General Maj. Gen. (KS)
Tod M. Bunting hailed the event and said:

“The National Guard is a shining example for the rest of the world of
how military and civilian authorities work together to protect citizens
at home and help preserve peace around the world. This partnership
with Armenia is a great opportunity for the Kansas National Guard not
only to be teachers – sharing the skills and knowledge we have – but
to be students, as well, as we learn more about Armenia, its people
and its rich cultural heritage.”

“It was a very happy and emotional moment for me,” Kotoyantz said
after witnessing the proclamation signing ceremony.

The Armenian Assembly of America is the largest Washington-based
nationwide organization promoting public understanding and awareness of
Armenian issues. It is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt membership organization


CAPTION: L to R: Barbara Craft (Rep. 65th District), Randy Mettner
(Special Assistant to Lt. Governor), Senator Lana Oleen (Majority
Leader of the Senate), Ron Thornburgh (Secretary of State), Alex
Kotoyantz, Governor Kathleen Sebelius, Adj. Gen. Todd Bunting (Kansas
National Guard), Lt. Col. Joe Knowles (Coordinator, State Partnership
with Armenia), Col. Joe Wheeler, Maj. Kim Smith, Lt. Col. Charles

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