Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock has officially proclaimed September 21, 2016 as “Armenian Independence Day” for the “twin states of the Armenian homeland, Armenia and Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh Republic),” reports the Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region (ANCA-WR).
“Mayor Hancock’s celebration of the Armenian homeland and recognition of Artsakh’s ongoing struggle against aggression is a testament to the firm dedication of Armenian American grassroots in the Mile High City and the State of Colorado to raise awareness about human rights issues, including Azerbaijan’s April 2016 anti-Armenian war crimes,” remarked ANCA-WR Executive Director Elen Asatryan. “We thank the Hancock administration for their unwavering support of universal human rights, including recognizing Artsakh’s independence and ongoing struggle to preserve its ancient Christian heritage and protect its freedom-loving indigenous Armenian population against an army that wipes out medieval monuments and tortures civilians and soldiers alike,” continued Asatryan.
The proclamation notes that “the Denver Metro Area is home to thousands of productive and patriotic Armenian Americans who have enriched our city for many decades,” and that “Artsakh continues the monumental struggle to maintain its indigenous Armenian identity, preserve medieval monuments and secure its borders against war crimes.” Mayor Hancock’s Proclamation notes ANCA-WR’s “commit[ment] to advancing issues of concern to the Armenian community,” and “congratulates the Armenian community on their commitment to their heritage, their engagement in their new homeland and their ability to survive and thrive despite the challenges.”
The Washington, D.C.-based and US Office of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic also thanked the City and County of Denver, as well as the area’s vibrant Armenian American community for celebrating the Armenian homeland’s 25th independence anniversary. “We are grateful to Mayor Hancock and to the people of Denver for marking and celebrating this important anniversary. For over a quarter of a century Artsakh has been living as a sovereign democracy and remains resolute to continue protecting its choice for freedom. We are grateful for this support and look forward to continued cooperation. I also want to thank the ANCA-WR for their steadfast efforts towards raising awareness about our nation’s common struggle for the security and prosperity of independent Artsakh” remarked Robert Avetisyan, Permanent Representative of Artsakh to the United States.
Mr. Avetisyan also thanked ANCA-Colorado and the ANCA-WR Regional Office in Denver for their ongoing support of Artsakh that builds on community-wide successes such as the April 24, 2015 unveiling of the Armenians of Colorado-sponsored Colorado State Capitol Armenian Genocide Monument – a replica of one of the 2,000 medieval Djulfa khachkars demolished by the Azerbaijani army.
The full text of the Proclamation reads:
“City and County of Denver
WHEREAS, the Denver Metro Area is home to thousands of productive and patriotic Armenian Americans who have enriched our city for many decades; and
WHEREAS, in 2016, the twin states of the Armenian homeland, Armenia and Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh Republic), celebrate the 25th anniversary of independence from the Soviet Union; and
WHEREAS, Artsakh continues the monumental struggle to maintain its indigenous Armenian identity; preserve medieval monuments and secure its borders against war crimes; and
WHEREAS, the Armenian National Committee of America, Western Region, is a grassroots public affairs organization that is committed to advancing issues of concern to the Armenian community in the United States, as well as in Europe, Russia, South America, the Middle East, Australia, Armenia and Artsakh; and
WHEREAS, the City and County of Denver congratulates the Armenian community on their commitment to their heritage, their engagement in their new homeland and their ability to survive and thrive despite the challenges.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, MICHAEL B. HANCOCK, MAYOR of the City and County of Denver, Colorado, by virtue of the authority vested in me, do hereby officially proclaim SEPTEMBER 21, 2016, to be known as:
“ARMENIAN INDEPENDENCE DAY”
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the official seal of the City and County of Denver to be affixed this 21st day of September, 2016
MICHAEL B. HANCOCK