Colorado Armenian Commemoration Features Mark Geragos


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Thursday April 29, 2010

State legislature passes ninth annual Genocide resolution

Left to right: Igor Petrosyan (Director of Armenians of Colorado
board) and his wife Nune Hovannisyan (member of Armenian Professional
Network of Colorado), Kim Christianian (President of Armenians of
Colorado board), Mark Geragos (keynote speaker), Simon Maghakyan
(Secretary of Armenians of Colorado board), Hasmik Nikoghosyan
(Co-chair of Armenian Professional Network of Colorado), Susanna
Avagyan (Armenian-American artist and mother of Simon), Diane Brown
(Director of Armenians of Colorado board) and Ken Allikian (Chair of
Genocide Commemoration Committee).

Denver – Celebrated Los Angeles attorney Mark Geragos spoke about
"Reparations: Beyond Recognition" speech as part of the Armenian
Genocide remembrance events that also included a resolution on the
Genocide passed by the state’s legilslature.

Geragos spoke to an engaged gathering at the Waring Theatre of
Arapahoe Community College. He was one of the lead lawyers in a pair
of groundbreaking federal class action lawsuits against New York
Life Insurance and AXA for insurance policies issued in the early
twentieth century during the time of the Armenian Genocide.

These two cases settled for over $37.5 million in 2004 and 2005.

"The statistical data about the case that Mr. Geragos shared was
amazingly powerful confirmation of the genocidal process of the
Armenian people and the crowd really appreciated his lecture in Denver"
said Kim Christianian, president of AOC. The lecture was sponsored
by Armenians of Colorado Inc. with support from Sigma Phi chapter of
Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society, Colorado Coalition for
Genocide Awareness & Action, and Facing History And Ourselves.

On Friday April 23, 2010, the Colorado General Assembly unanimously
passed the 9th annual Armenian Genocide Resolution designating April
24 as Colorado Day of Remembrance of the Armenian Genocide. The
resolution was sponsored by long time supporter State Senator Lois
Tochtrop and State Representative Su Ryden.

"Unlike previous years, there were no reservations given by the
legislators in passing the resolution", stated Ken Allikian, chair of
the Armenian Genocide Commemoration committee which coordinates the
resolution every year as well as securing gubernatorial and Mayoral

Armenians of Colorado (AOC) organized the annual commemoration
ceremony the following day at the Armenian Garden, located on the
State Capitol grounds, where there is a memorial headstone dedicated
to the 1.5 million Armenians killed during the first genocide of the
20th century. Over 100 people gathered for the ceremony.

Speakers included State Senator Lois Tochtrop, Kim Christianian, AOC
president and former co-chair of the Armenians Genocide commemoration
committee (GCC), Ken Allikian, chair of the GCC, and Simon Maghakyan,
secretary of AOC and former co-chair of the GCC. Rosemary Rodriguez,
state director for Senator Michael Bennet read a letter from the

The Armenian Genocide was carried out by the Ottoman Turks during
and after WWI. It resulted in the near complete annihilation and
extermination of modern Turkey’s indigenous Armenian population,
and in the disappearance of Armenian cultural artifacts dating back
thousands of years.

Turkish Government to this day denies that the Armenian Genocide ever
happened despite scholars’, historians’, and most western governments’
published reports and archives affirming the facts of the genocide.

The term "genocide" was coined in 1944 (by Raphael Lemkin) to describe,
in part, what happened to Armenians during World War I.

Below is the text of the 2010 Colorado state resolution.

Sixty-seventh General Assembly





WHEREAS, This year marks the 95th anniversary of the first genocide of
the 20th century, the Armenian Genocide, when 1.5 million men, women,
and children of Armenian descent were victims of a brutal genocide
perpetrated by the Turkish Ottoman Empire from 1915 to 1923 and,
as a result, there are fewer than 75,000 indigenous Armenians living
within the borders of modern Turkey; and

WHEREAS, The former United States Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire,
Henry Morgenthau, Sr., stated, "Whatever crimes the most perverted
instincts of the human mind can devise, and whatever refinements of
persecutions and injustice the most debased imagination can conceive,
became the daily misfortunes of this devoted people."; and

WHEREAS, The killing of the Armenian people was followed by the
systematic destruction of churches, schools, libraries, treasures of
art, and cultural monuments that continues to this day in an attempt
to eliminate all traces of a noble civilization with a history of
more than 3,000 years; and

WHEREAS, The New York Times recently reported a newly exposed official
Ottoman document revealing that 972,000 Armenians disappeared from
population records within one year; and

WHEREAS, Despite overwhelming evidence, modern Turkey continues to
deny and distort the facts of the genocide, honor the perpetrators
of that crime against humanity as national heroes, and persecute its
citizens who acknowledge or even allude to the Armenian Genocide; and

WHEREAS, Each April, Armenians throughout the world honor their
martyrs, and all the world’s people should commemorate the Armenian
Genocide and condemn any attempt to deny its historical truth or
mischaracterize it as anything less than genocide, a term coined by
Raphael Lemkin in 1944 referencing the Armenian extermination as a
seminal example of genocide; and

WHEREAS, We must all fight against current injustices, such as the
ongoing first genocide of the 21st century in Darfur that is being
denied by the Turkish government, an ally of the Sudanese regime,
which demonstrates how the cycle of genocide continues; and

WHEREAS, We commend Armenians of Colorado, Inc., for organizing the
April 2010 genocide commemoration events, which include a keynote
speech by attorney Mark Geragos entitled "Reparations: Beyond
Recognition", held April 17th at Arapahoe Community College;


WHEREAS, We commend the growing number of Turkish citizens,
including academics, writers, and journalists, who challenge their
government’s official account of history amid threats of prosecution
and imprisonment under article 301 of the Turkish penal code, which
forbids denigration of the Turkish nation and the Turkish government;

now, therefore, Be It Resolved by the Senate of the Sixty-seventh
General Assembly

of the State of Colorado, the House of Representatives concurring

(1) That this legislative body pause in its deliberations to
commemorate the 95th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, to be
recognized at a memorial service at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 24,
2010, at the Armenian Genocide memorial plaque in the Armenian Garden,
located in the northeast quadrant on the State Capitol grounds;


(2) That we, the members of the General Assembly, hereby acknowledge
April 24, 2010, and April 24 of each year hereafter, as "Colorado
Day of Remembrance of the Armenian Genocide".

Be It Further Resolved, That copies of this Joint Resolution be
sent to the Honorable Barack Obama, President of the United States;
the members of the Colorado Congressional Delegation; the members
of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues; the Honorable Bill
Ritter, Jr., Governor of Colorado; the Armenian Assembly of America
in Washington, D.C.; the Armenian National Committee in Washington,
D.C.; and the Armenian and Turkish Embassies in Washington, D.C.

Armenians of Colorado, Inc. (AOC) was established in June 1982. It
is a 501(c) (3) non-profit, cultural organization charged with a
purpose to create a cohesive Armenian community and to further the
understanding of Armenian history, culture, and heritage. AOC actively
supports issues and concerns of the Armenian-American community here
in Colorado as well as those identified within the Armenian Diaspora
throughout the world. For more information about Armenians of Colorado
go to

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

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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