WASHINGTON — The Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly) joined the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues this week for the annual commemoration of the Armenian Genocide on Capitol Hill. Prior to the commemoration, bipartisan Armenian Genocide resolutions were introduced in both the House of Representatives and Senate.
Spearheaded by Congressmen Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), over 80 Members of Congress have already co-sponsored the House resolution, H.Res. 296, which was introduced on Monday.
“This resolution highlights a proud chapter in American history, where, thanks to America’s unprecedented humanitarian intervention, thousands and thousands of survivors of the Armenian Genocide were saved in what US Ambassador Henry Morgenthau described as a ‘campaign of race extermination’ and what Major General James G. Harbord – who served as General John J. Pershing’s Chief of Staff during World War I and led anAmerican Military Mission to Armenia – reported from the USS Martha Washington that: ‘Mutilation, violation, torture and death have left their haunting memories in a hundred beautiful Armenian valleys, and the traveler in that region is seldom free from the evidence of this most colossal crime of all the ages,'” stated Armenian Assembly Executive Director Bryan Ardouny.
The following day, Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ) introduced with 14 co-sponsors a similar Senate resolution, S.Res. 150, which expresses “the sense of the Senate that it is the policy of the United States to commemorate the Armenian Genocide through official recognition and remembrance.”
“This bipartisan resolution highlights a proud chapter in US history in providing humanitarian assistance and helping to save the survivors of the first genocide of the twentieth century,” stated Armenian Assembly Executive Director Bryan Ardouny. “We commend Senators Menendez and Cruz for this important human rights initiative,” Ardouny said.
The importance of these resolutions were stressed during the commemoration, attended by Armenian Caucus Co-Chairs Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), and Jackie Speier (D-CA); Caucus Vice Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA); and Representatives Judy Chu (D-CA), Katherine Clark (D-MA), Jim Costa (D-CA), TJ Cox (D-CA), Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), Brad Schneider (D-IL), Brad Sherman, Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), and Pete Visclosky (D-IN). Elise Kenderian Aronson presided over the standing-room only commemoration as the Mistress of Ceremonies.