Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds issued a powerful proclamation commemorating the Ottoman Turkish Government’s murder of over 2.5 million Armenians, Greeks, Assyrians and Syriacs, making the Hawkeye State the 47th U.S. state to properly recognize and condemn the Armenian Genocide, reported the Armenian National Committee of America Eastern Region (ANCA-ER).
During the official signing ceremony, attended by ANCA-ER leaders and a coalition of human rights groups, including representatives of the Iraqi Christian Relief Council, The Philos Project, and Iowans for Armenia, Governor Reynolds also declared October, 2017, “Armenia Awareness Month.” The ceremony, which was webcast live on the ANCA Facebook page, concluded with a moving prayer offered by Rev. Fr. Tadeos Barseghyan of St. Sahag Armenian Church of Minnesota, which is the closest Armenian church serving the Armenian-American community of Iowa.
Noting that the Ottoman Turkish government’s crime “still requires justice,” Gov. Reynolds’ proclamation cites Adolph Hitler’s ominous reference to the murder of the Armenian people just days prior to his invasion of Poland and the ensuing Holocaust, which claimed the lives of over 6 million Jews, and resulted in the decimation of other targeted racial and religious minorities.
The document recounts the cycle of subsequent genocides of the 20th and 21st centuries, specifically mentioning the 2016 Congressional condemnation of the Islamic State genocide against Middle East Christians, Yezidis and other minorities. It concludes with the assertion that by “recognizing and consistently remembering the Armenian Genocide, the Holocaust and all cases of past and ongoing genocide, we help protect historic memory, ensure that similar atrocities do not occur again and remain vigilant against hatred, persecution and tyranny.”