Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HJR0056
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Full Text of HJR0056  99th General Assembly




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2    WHEREAS, The centennial of the Armenian Genocide is before
3us, and Armenians throughout the world resound with a powerful
4call for justice and truth that will not be silenced; and
5    WHEREAS, Each day of 2015 is a day of devotion for the
6Armenian people, a spiritual journey to memorials of their
7martyrs in the homeland and in the diaspora; and
8    WHEREAS, The Armenian people kneel humbly before those
9memorials in prayer for the souls of the innocent who rest in
10unmarked graves, having accepted death rather than reject their
11faith and nation; and
12    WHEREAS, In 1915, and in the years that followed, Ottoman
13Turkey committed genocide against the Armenian people; and
14    WHEREAS, In the historic homeland of Western Armenia and in
15Armenian communities throughout other parts of the Ottoman
16Empire, one and a half million sons and daughters of the
17Armenian nation were subjected to slaughter, famine, and
18disease as they were deported and forced to march to their
19deaths; and
20    WHEREAS, A centuries-old inheritance was pillaged as



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1thousands of monasteries and churches were desecrated and
2destroyed, national institutions and schools were razed to the
3ground, and their spiritual and national values were uprooted;
5    WHEREAS, Western Armenia, where the Armenian people had
6lived since the time of Noah, where they forged an identity and
7shaped a distinctive culture, was savagely wrested from the
8native population; and
9    WHEREAS, Eastern Armenia, the birthplace of the Church of
10Armenia and from where the Armenian people received the light
11of St. Gregory the Illuminator, was threatened out of
12existence; and
13    WHEREAS, In this time of darkness, when Armenia was
14splintered, when its fragments were scattered the world over,
15it was hard to believe that a new day would come; and
16    WHEREAS, The Armenian people persevered by the Lord's
17grace, rose up from the ashes, and began to build anew; and
18    WHEREAS, In Eastern Armenia, a country was built out of
19ruins, a homeland of light and hope, where Armenians once again
20harnessed their creative forces in education, the sciences, and
21the arts; and



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1    WHEREAS, Today, though they still face hardships, the
2Armenian people continue to strengthen their independent
3homeland, where they live in freedom and look with hope to the
4future; and
5    WHEREAS, The Armenian spirit also flourished in far-flung
6lands, where the exiled people set down roots, built schools
7and churches, and gave generously of their talents in these new
8places they called home; and
9    WHEREAS, By placing their hope in the Lord, the Armenian
10people were illuminated and empowered; His light kindled the
11ingenuity of their spirit; and His might propelled them to
12victories in the face of destruction and in the face of
13annihilation; and
14    WHEREAS, It was the Will of the Lord that the Armenian
15nation should live and rise again, so that they might seek
16justice where there has been oppression, concern where there
17has been indifference, and truth where there has been denial;
19    WHEREAS, The Armenian people in their native homeland and
20in the diaspora will continue their fight without retreat,
21working together in unity until justice triumphs over darkness;



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2    WHEREAS, The innocent martyrs cry out for justice; the
3destroyed shrines and the falsification and distortion of
4history cry out for justice; and
5    WHEREAS, We believe that the states and nation states and
6individuals who have recognized the Armenian Genocide will be
7joined by others who believe that the affirmation of truth will
8lead to a world free of hostility and violence; and
9    WHEREAS, We express our gratitude to all those states and
10nation states who had the courage and conviction to recognize
11and condemn the Armenian Genocide, and also to the countries
12and individuals who gave a new home to the Armenian people, for
13we know that these acts of justice and compassion are glimpses
14of humanity at its best, and they are lessons we can pass on
15from one generation to the next to guide our world toward peace
16and harmony; and
17    WHEREAS, In spiritual consolation, His Holiness Karekin
18II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, issued a
19Patriarchal encyclical on December 28, 2014 announcing that
20during the Divine Liturgy on April 23, 2015, the Church of
21Armenia will perform a special ceremony canonizing as saints
22its sons and daughters who became Martyrs for their faith and



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1for their homeland; and
2    WHEREAS, His Holiness pronounced April 24, 2015 as the Day
3of Remembrance of the Holy Martyrs of the Armenian Genocide of
41915; and
5    WHEREAS, The People of Illinois, as represented by the
6General Assembly and the Governor, should remain mindful of
7these tragic events, and should act in a spirit of justice and
8humanity to designate April 24, 2015 as the Day of Remembrance
9of the Holy Martyrs of the Armenian Genocide of 1915;
10therefore, be it
13SENATE CONCURRING HEREIN, that we commemorate April 24, 2015 as
14the Day of Remembrance of the Holy Martyrs of the Armenian
15Genocide of 1915; and be it further
16    RESOLVED, That we request Governor Bruce Rauner to proclaim
17April 24, 2015, as the Day of Remembrance of the Holy Martyrs
18of the Armenian Genocide of 1915; and be it further
19    RESOLVED, That we call upon the people of Illinois to
20observe that Day of Remembrance and to draw strength from the
21firm determination of the Armenian people, who trampled death



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1and rose again to rebuild, to renew, and to reassert the spirit
2of their ancestors; and be it further
3    RESOLVED, That this be the lesson we teach our children and
4our grandchildren, so that they, too, will realize that the
5affirmation of truth will lead to a world free of hostility and
6violence; and be it further
7    RESOLVED, That a suitable copy of this resolution be
8presented to Governor Bruce Rauner.