Armenian National Committee of Pennsylvania
360 Highview Drive
Radnor, PA 19087
[email protected]

May 13, 2004
For Immediate Release

Contact: Karine A. Shamlian
[email protected]


-- Pittsburgh City Council also Commemorates First Genocide of 20th Century

Harrisburg, PA--The Pennsylvania House of Representatives unanimously passed
a resolution designating April 24, 2004 as "Pennsylvania's Day of
Remembrance of the Armenian Genocide of 1915-1923," reported the Armenian
National Committee (ANC) of Pennsylvania. Representative Daylin Leach (D)
and 56 co-sponsors introduced Pennsylvania House Resolution No. 593 (HR593).

"The Armenian National Committee of Pennsylvania thanks Rep. Leach for his
leadership in introducing this resolution. We also commend the House of
Representatives for their unwavering commitment to recognize the Armenian
Genocide and to honor the memories of the victims whose descendents are
citizens of the Commonwealth," stated Dr. Ara Chalian, co-chairman of the
ANC of Pennsylvania. "The ANC of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania General
Assembly have an enduring relationship that spans nearly twenty years. We
look forward to continue working closely with Rep. Leach and others who take
an active role in supporting the issues of the Armenian American community,"
concluded Dr. Chalian.

The resolution identifies the Ottoman Empire as the perpetrators of a
genocide that claimed the lives of one and a half million Armenian men,
women, and children from 1915 to 1923. It also acknowledges that modern
Turkey continues to deny and distort the facts of the Armenian Genocide.
Through this resolution, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania reaffirms its
commitment to condemn atrocities, such as the Armenian Genocide, and to
prevent similar crimes against humanity from occurring again.

This is the second consecutive year that the first-term legislator has
introduced an Armenian Genocide resolution. Rep. Leach, whose wife is of
Armenian descent, represents a district which includes a large Armenian
American constituency, two Armenian churches, and the Armenian Sisters

"It is important that we never forget the atrocities visited upon the
Armenian People in the last century," stated Rep. Leach. "It is only by
remembering the past that we can recognize the gathering warning signs of
new oppression. As long as I am in the legislature, I can assure you that
no one will forget the struggle of the Armenian People," concluded Rep.

In addition to the Pennsylvania House Resolution, the Pittsburgh City
Council passed a proclamation declaring April 24, 2004 "A Day of
Remembrance" for the victims of the Armenian Genocide. The City
Proclamation was introduced and spearheaded by Councilman Douglas Shields,
and it was co-sponsored by Council President Gene Ricciardi and Council
members Luke Ravenstahl, Jim Motznik, William Peduto, Len Bodack, Alan
Hertzberg, Twanda Carlisle, and Sala Udin.

"On behalf of the Pittsburgh area Armenian-American community, I would like
to thank Councilman Doug Shields and the City Council for observing the
Armenian Genocide," stated ANC activist Rostom Sarkissian, who resides in
Pittsburgh. "This proclamation and others like it not only honor the victims
and survivors of the Armenian Genocide, but they also send a strong message
to the Turkish government that continued denial of this Genocide can no
longer be a state-sponsored policy. Time has come for Turkey to join the
international community in acknowledging the Armenian Genocide for what it
was--genocide," concluded Sarkissian.

The ANC PA urges all Pennsylvania Armenians to contact their State
Representative to thank them for passing HR593 and the Pittsburgh City
Council for their "A Day of Remembrance" Proclamation. A copy of the
resolution can be found online at: The
full text of the City Council statement can be found below.

The Armenian National Committee is the largest Armenian American grassroots
political organization in Pennsylvania and the United States. The ANC
actively advances a broad range of issues of concern to the Armenian
American community. For more information about the ANC of Pennsylvania or
assistance in contacting your elected officials, email:
[email protected]



Pittsbu rgh City Council


WHEREAS, During the period leading to the breakup of the Ottoman empire,
Ottoman leaders promulgated Anti-Armenia policies, including mass
deportation of Armenians; and,

WHEREAS, these policies resulted in the systematic annihilation, through
massacres, disease, and starvation of a large segment of the Armenian
population; and,

WHEREAS, 1.5 million men, women, and children of Armenian ancestry were
victims of the genocide perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire from 1915 through
1923; and,

WHEREAS, Armenians have historical roots and a national identity dating back
three thousand years in what is now Eastern Turkey, Northwestern Iran, and
South-Central Soviet Union; and,

WHEREAS, Armenians have distinctive linguistic and religious heritage within
the Christian tradition,

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Council of the City of Pittsburgh
does hereby remember the victims of the Armenian Genocide; and,

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Council of the City of Pittsburgh does
hereby declare Saturday April 24, 2004 as "A Day of Remembrance" here in the
City of Pittsburgh.

Passed in Council on Tuesday April 20, 2004

Gene Ricciardi
President of Council

Attest: Linda Johnson-Wasler
City Clerk

Sponsored by Councilman Douglas Shields
Cosponsored by
Council President Gene Ricciardi
And members of Council
Luke Ravenstahl, Jim Motznik, William Peduto, Len Bodack, Alan Hertzberg,
Twanda Carlisle, Sala Udin