THE 100TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE
(House of Representatives - May 20, 2015)

Text available as:

Formatting necessary for an accurate reading of this text may be shown by tags (e.g., <DELETED> or <BOLD>) or may be missing from this TXT display. For complete and accurate display of this text, see the PDF.

        
[Congressional Record Volume 161, Number 78 (Wednesday, May 20, 2015)]
[Pages H3394-H3396]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




             THE 100TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from 
California (Mr. Schiff) for 5 minutes.
  Mr. SCHIFF. Mr. Speaker, on April 24, the 100th anniversary of the 
Armenian genocide, runners and cyclists set out from Los Angeles on the 
Race for Recognition. I had the great pleasure of riding the first 28 
miles of their journey with them. On May 7, they completed their 3,000-
mile ride across the United States.
  They undertook their ride to raise awareness of the Armenian genocide 
and genocides all around the world and to commemorate and remember the 
victims. It is my honor to read a portion of the petition that they 
carried with them across the Nation and to enter the entirety into the 
Congressional Record.
  It provides:

       On this 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide, LA2DC 
     organizing committee members wish to recognize and honor the 
     contributions of the following people and organization:
       The American people, for setting the standard in the world 
     for philanthropy, social activism, human rights and 
     prevention of crimes against humanity--in their first 
     nationwide relief campaign from 1915 to 1930, Americans 
     donated the equivalent of $2.7 billion to help save over 1 
     million Christian Armenians, Greeks, Assyrians, and other 
     minorities during the first mass atrocity of the 20th 
     century, when these minorities were targeted for 
     extermination and deportation by the Ottoman Empire;
       Ambassador Henry Morgenthau, who, as the United States 
     Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, alerted the United States 
     Government and the rest of the world to the ``destruction of 
     the Armenian race'';
       The Near East Foundation, for providing relief to 1 million 
     refugees and 132,000 orphan survivors of the atrocities 
     perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire;
       The American Red Cross, for providing relief to survivors 
     of genocides and mass atrocities for the past 100 years, 
     starting with its first international assistance program in 
     1915 that provided relief to survivors of the Armenian 
     genocide;
       The Museum of Tolerance, for educating and enlightening 
     more than 250,000 visitors per year since 1993 and 
     challenging them to understand the Holocaust and genocides in 
     both historic and contemporary contexts;
       Raphael Lemkin, for inventing the term ``genocide'' to 
     describe atrocities that target groups for annihilation, and 
     for working tirelessly to gain approval of the Convention on 
     the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide by the 
     United Nations in 1948;
       USC's Shoah Foundation and its founder, Mr. Steven 
     Spielberg, for collecting nearly 52,000 eyewitness 
     testimonies of the Holocaust, the Armenian genocide, and 
     other genocide survivors;
       Facing History and Ourselves, for educating over 10,000 
     teachers and, through them, hundreds of thousands of students 
     on the history of prejudice and racism and the role they play 
     in the events that lead to genocide;
       The International Committee of the Red Cross and the United 
     Nations's Children's Fund, for starting a vast relief 
     operation in 1979 for the people of Cambodia, threatened by 
     famine and disease in the aftermath of

[[Page H3395]]

     the Cambodian genocide, which claimed millions of lives;
       United States Army Europe and United States Air Force 
     Europe, for delivering humanitarian aid in 1995 and 1996 to 
     the survivors of the Bosnian genocide, during which an 
     estimate 100,000 Bosniaks were systematically targeted and 
     killed;
       Senator William Proxmire, for delivering a speech every day 
     the U.S. Senate was in session in support of the ratification 
     of Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime 
     of Genocide. After 20 years and 3,211 speeches, the United 
     States Senate ratified the convention on February 11, 1986;
       President Ronald Reagan, for signing the Genocide 
     Convention Implementation Act of 1987 into law;
       The International Rescue Committee, for providing relief to 
     Rwandan genocide survivors, when an estimated 800,000 mostly 
     Tutsi minorities were massacred;
       Not On Our Watch and George Clooney, for using his public 
     profile to raise awareness of the genocide in Darfur, where 
     300,000 civilians were targeted and murdered and 2 million 
     displaced;
       U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power, for her groundbreaking book 
     published in 2003, ``A Problem from Hell,'' which recounts 
     the history of genocide and offers a framework for 
     policymakers that can help detect and prevent genocides;
       The Armenian National Committee of America, for advocating 
     for the recognition of the Armenian genocide and raising 
     awareness of genocides as crimes against humanity.

                              {time}  1015

  Mr. Speaker, these riders carried this important message of truth and 
gratitude with them across our great Nation. It is an honor to do my 
small part to make sure they are heard.
  Mr. Speaker, on April 24th, the 100th anniversary of the Armenian 
Genocide, runners and cyclists set out from Los Angeles on a ``Race for 
Recognition.'' I had the great pleasure of riding the first 28 miles of 
their journey with them. And on May 7th, they completed their 3,000 
mile ride across the United States. They undertook their ride to raise 
awareness of the Armenian Genocide, and Genocides around the world, and 
to commemorate and remember the victims. It is my honor to read a 
portion of the petition that they carried with them across the nation, 
and to enter the entirety into the Congressional Record.
  On this 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, LA2DC organizing 
committee members wish to recognize and honor the contributions of the 
following people and organizations:
  In the past 100 years, over 100 millions lives have been lost in 
genocides and mass atrocities;
  During the same period, heroic American citizens, politicians, 
diplomats, faith based organizations, and non-government organizations 
have made it a part of their mission to raise awareness of genocides, 
help prevent genocides, and provide relief to survivors of genocides;
  Some of these citizens, relief organizations, diplomats, and 
politicians put their lives and treasure at risk by working in conflict 
zones to alert the world of impending genocides and genocides in 
progress, rescue genocide survivors, and provide relief.
  On this 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, and through this 
petition, LA2DC organizing committee members wish to recognize and 
honor the contributions of the following people and organizations for 
their work in raising awareness of genocides, providing relief to 
genocide survivors, and working to prevent genocides;
  The American People--for setting the standard in the world for 
philanthropy, social activism, human rights, justice, and prevention of 
crimes against humanity. In their first act of large scale, nationwide, 
organization and execution of a relief campaign, from 1915 to 1930, 
Americans donated more than $117 million--the equivalent of $2.7 
billion in 2015 dollars--to relief organizations that saved over 1 
million Christian Armenians, Greeks, Assyrians, and other minorities 
during the first mass  atrocity of the 20th century, when these 
minorities were targeted for extermination and deportation by the 
Ottoman Empire. Over the past 100 years, Americans continue to be in 
the front lines of helping to prevent genocides, and providing relief 
and hope to survivors of atrocities.

  Ambassador Henry Morgenthau--who as United States Ambassador to the 
Ottoman Empire, alerted the United States government of ``Destruction 
of the Armenian Race . . .'' and called on Americans to get organized 
to help the survivors.
  The Near East Foundation (formerly known as Near East Relief or 
NER)--for providing relief to 1 million refugees and 132,000 orphan 
survivors of the atrocities perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire from 
1915-1923. During this period, NER raised the equivalent of $2.7 
billion in 2015 dollars, and mobilized over 1,000 volunteers to help 
build 400 orphanages, food and clothing distribution centers, clinics 
and hospitals, and vocational training schools for the survivors.
  The American Red Cross--for providing relief to survivors of 
genocides and mass atrocities for the past 100 years, starting with its 
first international assistance program in 1915 that provided relief to 
the survivors of the Armenian Genocide.
  The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum--for leading national and 
international efforts to promote human dignity, confront hatred, and 
prevent the next genocide.
  The Museum of Tolerance--for educating and enlightening more than 
250,000 visitors per year since 1993, and challenging them to 
understand the Holocaust and genocides in both historic and 
contemporary contexts and confront all forms of prejudice and 
discrimination in our world today.
  Raphael Lemkin--for inventing the term ``genocide'' to describe the 
atrocities that target groups for annihilation, and for working 
tirelessly to gain approval of Convention on the Prevention and 
Punishment of the Crime of Genocide by United Nations in 1948.
  University of Southern California's Shoah Foundation and its founder, 
Mr. Steven Spielberg--for painstakingly collecting nearly 52,000 
eyewitness testimonies of the Holocaust, the Armenian Genocide, and 
other genocide survivors, and using their first hand accounts to teach 
the world about the horrors of genocides and the importance of 
preventing them.
  Facing History and Ourselves--for educating over ten thousand 
teachers in the United States and worldwide, and through them, hundreds 
of thousands of students, on the history of prejudice and racism, and 
the role they play in the events that lead to genocide. Since 1976, 
Facing History has been engaged in genocide prevention work by 
promoting global citizenship and heightened awareness of genocides.
  The International Committee of The Red Cross and United Nations 
Children's Fund for starting a vast relief operation in 1979 for the 
people of Cambodia threatened by famine and disease in the aftermath of 
the Cambodian Genocide, which claimed millions of lives.
  United State Army Europe and United States Air Force Europe--for 
delivering humanitarian aid in 1995 and 1996 to the survivors of the 
Bosnian Genocide, during which an estimated 100,000 Bosniaks were 
systematically targeted and killed.
  Senator William Proxmire--for following through his commitment to 
deliver a speech every day the United States Senate was in session in 
support of the ratification of United Nations Convention on the 
Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. After 20 years and 
3,211 speeches, the United States Senate ratified the convention on 
February 11, 1986.
  President Ronald Reagan--for signing the Genocide Implementation Act 
of 1987 into law, making genocide a Federal offense, and declaring, 
``This legislation still represents a strong and clear statement by the 
United States that it will punish acts of genocide with the force of 
law and the righteousness of justice.''
  The International Rescue Committee--for providing emergency supplies 
and restoring infrastructure following the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, 
where an estimated 800,000 mostly Tutsi minorities were massacred.
  Not On Our Watch, and Messrs. George Clooney, Don Cheadle, Matt 
Damon, Brad Pitt, David Pressman, and Jerry Weintraub for using their 
public profiles to bring attention to atrocities around the world, and 
raising awareness of the genocide in Darfur, where 300,000 civilians 
were targeted and murdered, and 2 million displaced.
  United States Institute of Peace Genocide Prevention Task Force, and 
Co-Chairs Honorable Madeleine K. Albright and Honorable William S. 
Cohen--for developing a genocide prevention blueprint entitled, 
``Preventing Genocide: A Blueprint for U.S. Policymakers'', which 
affirmed that genocides are preventable, and issued 34 specific 
actionable recommendations that United States can implement to help 
detect and prevent genocides.
  Ambassador Samantha Power, the United States Ambassador to the United 
Nations--for her groundbreaking research documented in her book 
published in 2003, ``A Problem from Hell'', which recounts the history 
of genocide and offers a framework for policy makers that can help 
detect and prevent genocides.
  Congressman Adam Schiff--for being the leading voice in the United 
States Congress advocating for recognition of past genocides as an 
important step towards detecting and preventing future genocides and 
atrocities.
  The Armenian National Committee of America--for advocating for the 
recognition of the Armenian Genocides and raising awareness of 
genocides as crimes against humanity.
  Countless other Americans and organizations who have made it their 
mission to help prevent the next genocide and promote peaceful 
resolution of conflicts.

[[Page H3396]]



                          ____________________