Governor Whitmer, other Michigan leaders comment on Armenian Genocide

Michigan

FILE- This March 2, 2021 file photo provided by the Michigan Office of the Governor, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addresses the state during a speech in Lansing, Mich. Gov. Whitmer on Wednesday, March 31, 2021, doubled Michigan’s daily COVID-19 vaccination goal to 100,000 shots. She cited continuous week-over-week increases in vaccine allotments the state is receiving and an expanded number of providers who can administer doses. (Michigan Office of the Governor via AP, File)

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Lt. Governor Gilchrist, and Rep. Mari Manoogian issued the following statements after President Biden formally recognized the Armenian Genocide at the federal level. 

Governor Whitmer also signed a proclamation declaring April 24, 2021 as Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day in the state of Michigan.  

“Today, President Biden is taking a long overdue step to formally recognize the slaughter of Armenians in the early 20th century by the government of Turkey as a genocide,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “The state of Michigan, Lieutenant Governor, and I support this move, one that is line with proclamations issued by Michigan Governors of both parties and passed by the Legislature over the last 60 years. On April 22, the Michigan House passed HR 87, introduced by Rep. Mari Manoogian, an Armenian-American legislator descended from survivors of the Armenian genocide. I also want to echo the calls put forth by Michigan Governors for decades and proclaim April 24 as a Day of Remembrance for the Armenian Genocide in Michigan. At the national level, the recognition of this atrocity is long overdue, and I am thankful for President Biden’s decision and grateful for Rep. Manoogian’s tireless advocacy on this issue throughout her time in the Legislature. We must ensure that generations of Americans and Michiganders to come honor the memory of those we lost during the Armenian Genocide.” 

“I am glad the United States will finally formally recognize the atrocities committed against the Armenian people by the Turkish government in the early 1900s as a genocide,” said Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist. “This acknowledgment is essential and brings the federal government’s position in line with the state of Michigan’s. The governor and I are proud of the advocacy and activism of the extraordinary Armenian-American community over decades to make this happen. We are especially indebted to Representative Mari Manoogian, an Armenian-American descended from survivors of the Armenian genocide, who has spoken out on this issue passionately and persistently. Together, we will remember the memories of those we have lost and build a bright, inclusive future to honor their legacy.” 

“I am overwhelmed with gratitude toward President Biden, Secretary Blinken, and the rest of the White House foreign policy team for affirming the truth and recognizing the Armenian Genocide,” said Rep. Manoogian. “Every Armenian alive today is a symbol of strength in the face of racial hatred and state-sanctioned atrocities committed against us. This decision is like a weight lifted off the shoulders of Armenian-Americans, allowing us to grieve and heal with the peace of knowing that our experiences are unequivocally true and real.” 

“By recognizing the Armenian Genocide, the United States affirms a foreign policy agenda centered upon human rights and truth, two key pillars to preventing future genocides,” said Rep. Manoogian. I look forward to continuing to work with the Biden Administration and Armenian community leaders across the country to finally end the scourge of genocide denialism that continues to emanate from the highest echelons of Ankara and Baku.” 

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