Two Major Candidates for Governor in Mass. Voice Support for Armenia

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In the run-up to the Massachusetts gubernatorial election on November 4, both major candidates, Republican Charlie Baker and Democrat Martha Coakley, have issued statements in support of the recognition of the independence of Armenia as well as acknowledging the Armenian Genocide.

Baker’s office issued the following statement:

“I am happy to congratulate the Armenian-American community of Massachusetts on the 23rd Anniversary of the Independence of Armenia.  The Armenian-American community has enjoyed great success in the Commonwealth, which is home to the oldest Armenian church in America, and the second largest Armenian community in the nation.

More importantly, as we approach the centennial of the first genocide of the 20th Century, it is important that we reaffirm America’s proud record on the Armenian Genocide as Massachusetts and 42 other states have supported. Between 1915-1923, 1.5 million Armenian men, women, and children were killed in a systematic campaign to destroy the Christian-Armenian population. America’s effort to help save the survivors of the Armenian Genocide was unprecedented in American history at that time. That is something that all Americans can be proud of and something that we should recall as we begin to mark this crime against humanity.

As a candidate for governor of our great Bay State, I stand proudly with the Armenian American community and pledge to work to advance human rights concerning Armenian issues in the future.

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I look forward to our future efforts in working together to build bridges with Armenia, the democracy of Nagorno-Karabakh, and the dynamic Armenian-American community of our Commonwealth.”

In her statement, Coakley, the state’s attorney general, said:

“It is with great pleasure that I join all citizens of Massachusetts in congratulating the entire Armenian-American community on the 23rd anniversary of the independence of Armenia.

The Massachusetts Armenian Community has a rich history that spans over 110 years, from the first parish in America established in Worcester, Mass, in 1891, to providing vital funding for your homeland to build roads and providing new healthcare and educational facilities to greening Armenia with new forest lands.

On the eve of the 100th Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide beginning in April 24, 1915, I recall the proud chapter in America’s history in helping to save the survivors of the first Genocide of the 20th century, including those gathered at Faneuil Hall who galvanized support for the Armenian people. Understanding the lessons of the past through the teaching of the Armenian Genocide in our public schools will help ensure that such atrocities never occur again.

Today, I stand with you in celebration and promise for the future prosperity of Armenia and the fledgling democracy of Nagorno Karabakh on this, the 23rd anniversary of the Republic of Armenia.

I look forward to our continued efforts to expand and strengthen US-Armenia relations and ensure a bright future for the Armenian people.