California Assembly member mentions “Hellenic League of America” on Assembly floor
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 18, 2011
(Sacramento,CA)- The Hellenic League of America was honored to participate in this year’s Armenian Genocide recognition events at the State Capitol on April 14th in Sacramento, CA hosted by the Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region.
The Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region hosted events from morning to afternoon in Sacramento, California. Haig Hovsepian of the ANCA-Western Region welcomed all groups who gathered in Sacramento from across the state to commemorate the Armenian Genocide of 1915. Alex Aliferis, who represented the Hellenic League of America at this important commemoration of the Armenian Genocide, was the only Greek American attendance. This year’s Armenian Genocide Resolution included both the Greeks and the Assyrians.
Alex Aliferis attended the morning event on the floor of the California Assembly with other Armenian Americans. The California Assembly/Senate introduced and passed AJR 2(April 24th as Armenian Genocide Recognition Day) and AJR 7. Assembly member Katcho Achadjian (R) read in front of over 60 California Assembly members a list of participating groups such as the Hellenic League of America, Armenian National Committee, and others on the California Assembly floor.
AJR 2, Armenian Genocide Resolution, includes the Genocide of Greeks and Assyrians (http://e-lobbyist.com/gaits/text/225532), designates April 24, 2011 to recognize the Armenian Genocide. The Armenian National Committee of America, Western Region organized the April 14th events. AJR 7, unanimously passed, marking the week of April 18 to 24, 2011 as “California Week of Remembrance for the Armenian Genocide of 1915-1923.” The joint resolutions urge Congress and the President to observe the week of remembrance.
Throughout the day’s events Aliferis lobbied his California Assembly members/State Senators regarding the Armenian Genocide Resolution. In the Capitol, there is a display about how Americans formed the American Near East Foundation to assist the Armenians, Greeks, and Assyrians survivors of the Genocide by the Turks. The first American relief efforts in US history were started by Americans to assist the Armenians, Greeks, and Assyrians. According to the Near East Foundation website, “Many millions of Armenians, Assyrians, Greeks, and members of other minority groups were displaced, and over a million and a half died as a result of deportation, forced marches, starvation, and execution. The number would have been significantly higher had it not been for the efforts of U.S. Ambassador to Turkey Henry Morgenthau and the group of his friends and colleagues that would later become NEF’s founding Board. With the help of then-President Woodrow Wilson, NEF’s founders established a small-scale relief operation and began to solicit donations from the American public.” As a result, US leaders such as Democrat Woodrow Wilson and Republican Taft assisted the foundation to help the Greeks, Armenians, and Assyrians.
While in attendance he saw a powerful Armenian Genocide documentary called, ‘The River Runs Red’ by Armenian Genocide survivor turned filmmaker, J. Michael Hagopian. Hagopian started his documentary on the Armenian Genocide in the early 1950s by traveling to countries where there were Armenian Genocide Survivors. He went to the deserts of Syria and Iraq to speak with survivors, Arabs, and the sites where the Turks massacred 1.5 million Armenians in 1915. Hagopian passed away on Dec 2010, but this New York Times obituary mentions Hagopian’s accomplishment to document the Armenian Genocide over a course of 50 years through film. (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/20/world/europe/20hagopian.html).
Hellenic League of America, HLA