Speeches of US Presidents

Speeches of US Presidents

 

Woodrow WILSON – May 24, 1920

 

“Whereas the people of the United States are deeply impressed by the deplorable conditions of insecurity, starvation, and misery now prevalent in Armenia.”

66th Congress 2nd Session House of Representatives Document No. 791

Mandate For Armenia

Message from the President of the United States, requesting that the Congress grant the executive power to accept for the United States a mandate for Armenia

May 24, 1920. — Read; referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and ordered to be printed.

Gentlemen of the Congress:

On the fourteenth of May an official communication was received at the Executive Office from the Secretary of the Senate of the United States conveying the following preambles and resolutions:

Whereas the testimony adduced at the hearings conducted by the subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations have clearly established the truth of the reported massacres and other atrocities from which the Armenian people have suffered; and

Whereas the people of the United States are deeply impressed by the deplorable conditions of insecurity, starvation, and misery now prevalent in Armenia; and

Whereas the independence of the Republic of Armenia has been duly recognized by the Supreme Council of the Peace Conference and by the Government of the United States of America: Therefore be it

Resolved, That the sincere congratulations of the Senate of the United States are hereby extended to the people of Armenia on the recognition of the independence of the Republic of Armenia, without prejudice respecting the territorial boundaries involved: And be it further

Resolved, That the Senate of the United States hereby expresses the hope that stable government, proper protection of individual liberties and rights, and the full realization of nationalistic aspirations may soon be attained by the Armenian people: And be it further

Resolved, That in order to afford necessary protection for the lives and property of citizens of the United States at the port of Batum and along the line of the railroad leading to Baku, the President is hereby requested, if not incompatible with the public interest, to cause a United States warship and a force of marines to be dispatched to such port with instructions to such marines to disembark and to protect American lives and property.

I received and read this document with great interest and with genuine gratification, not only because it embodied my own convictions and feelings with regard to Armenia and its people, but also, and more particularly, because it seemed to me the voice of the American people expressing their genuine convictions and deep Christian sympathies, and intimating the line of duty which seemed to them to lie clearly before us.

I cannot but regard it as providential, and not as a mere casual coincidence that almost at the same time I received information that the conference of statesmen now sitting at San Remo for the purpose of working out the details of peace with the Central Powers which it was not feasible to work out in the conference at Paris, had formally resolved to address a definite appeal to this Government to accept the mandate for Armenia. They were at pains to add that they did this, “not from the smallest desire to evade any obligations which they might be expected to undertake, but because the responsibilities which they are already obliged to bear in connection with the disposition of the former Ottoman Empire will strain their capacities to the uttermost, and because they believe that the appearance on the scene of a power emancipated from the prepossessions of the old world will inspire a wider confidence and afford a firmer guarantee for stability in the future then would the selection of any European power.”

Early in the conferences at Paris it was agreed that to those colonies and territories which as a consequence of the late war have ceased to be under the sovereignty of the States which formerly governed them and which are inhabited by peoples not yet able to stand by themselves under the strenuous conditions of the modern world there should be applied the principle that the well being and development of such peoples form a sacred trust of civilization, and that securities for the performance of this trust should be afforded.

It was recognized that certain communities formerly belonging to the Turkish Empire have reached a stage of development where their existence as independent nations can be provisionally recognized, subject to the rendering of administrative advice and assistance by a mandatory until such time as they are able to stand alone.

It is in pursuance of this principle and with a desire of affording Armenia such advice and assistance that the statesmen conferring at San Remo have formally requested this Government to assume the duties of mandatory in Armenia. I may add, for the information of the Congress, that at the same sitting it was resolved to request the President of the United States to undertake to arbitrate the difficult question of the boundary between Turkey and Armenia in the Vilayets of Erzerum, Trebizond, Van and Bitlis, and it was agreed to accept his decision thereupon, as well as any stipulation he may prescribe as to access to the sea for the independent State of Armenia. In pursuance of this action, it was resolved to embody in the Treaty with Turkey, now under final consideration, a provision that “Turkey and Armenia and the other High Contracting Parties agree to refer to the arbitration of the President of the United States of America the question of the boundary between Turkey and Armenia in the Vilayets of Erzerum, Trebizond, Van and Bitlis, and to accept his decision thereupon as well as any stipulation he may prescribe as to access to the sea for the independent State of Armenia:” pending that decision the boundaries of Turkey and Armenia to remain as at present. I have thought it my duty to accept this difficult and delicate task.

In response to the invitation of the Council at San Remo, I urgently advise and request that the Congress grant the Executive power to accept for the United States a mandate over Armenia. I make this suggestion in the earnest belief that it will be the wish of the people of the United States that this should be done. The sympathy with Armenia has proceeded from no single portion of our people, but has come with extraordinary spontaneity and sincerity from the whole of the great body of Christian men and women in this country by whose free-will offerings Armenia has practically been saved at the most critical juncture of its existence. At their hearts this great and generous people have made the cause of Armenia their own. It is to this people and to their Government that the hopes and earnest expectations of the struggling people of Armenia turn as they now emerge from a period of indescribable suffering and peril, and I hope that the Congress will think it wise to meet this hope and expectation with the utmost liberality. I know from unmistakable evidences given by responsible representatives of many peoples struggling towards independence and peaceful life again that the Government of the United States is looked to with extraordinary trust and confidence, and I believe that it would do nothing less than arrest the hopeful processes of civilization if we were to refuse the request to become the helpful friends and advisers of such of these people as we may be authoritatively and formally requested to guide and assist.

I am conscious that I am urging upon the Congress a very critical choice, but I make the suggestion in the confidence that I am speaking in the spirit and in accordance with the wishes of the greatest of the Christian peoples. The sympathy for Armenia among our people has sprung from untainted consciences, pure Christian faith, and an earnest desire to see Christian people everywhere succored in their time of suffering, and lifted from their abject subjection and distress and enabled to stand upon their feet and take their place among the free nations of the world. Our recognition of the independence of Armenia will mean genuine liberty and assured happiness for her people, if we fearlessly undertake the duties of guidance and assistance involved in the functions of a mandatory. It is, therefore, with the most earnest hopefulness and with the feeling that I am giving advice from which the Congress will not willingly turn away that I urge the acceptance of the invitation now formally and solemnly extended to us by the Council at San Remo, into whose hands has passed the difficult task of composing the many complexities and difficulties of government in the one-time Ottoman Empire and the maintenance of order and tolerable conditions of life in those portions of that Empire which it is no longer possible in the interest of civilization to leave under the government of the Turkish authorities themselves.

Woodrow Wilson, The White House, May 24, 1920.

 

Jimmy CARTER – May 16, 1978

 

Reception Honoring Armenian Americans
Remarks at the White House Reception, May 16, 1978

The first thing I want to say is that it is an honor for Rosalynn and me to have you here in our home, which is also your home.

In preparation for the previous meeting that I had with your group in the Roosevelt Room in the West Wing, I went back and studied some of the history of the Armenian people. And I, again, am impressed with the tremendous contribution that you’ve made to our own Nation, the high examples that you’ve set in leadership, in music, arts, in business, in politics, in education, and in your sound political judgment in choosing to be Democrats, also in your very early support of me when I ran for President. Yours was the first group that had confidence in me, and I will always remember it. And your help for our party and our country is something that I appreciate very much.

As one of the oldest people in the world, you have, I think, struggled with great courage and tenacity to preserve your own identity, your own customs, and, too, in a very modest way, let the world come to appreciate what you’ve accomplished.

I feel close to you because you were the first Christian people, first Christian nation, and because of that, your deep religious beliefs, I doubt that any other people have ever suffered more. I know that through the early years of the foundation of your people’s home, you suffered a great deal. But it’s generally not known in the world that in the years preceding 1916, there was a concerted effort made to eliminate all the Armenian people, probably one of the greatest tragedies that ever befell any group. And there weren’t any Nuremberg trials. There weren’t any high public figures who recognized how much you and your families had to suffer.

Well, I feel very deeply that I, as President, ought to make sure that this is never forgotten, not only the tragedy of your history but also the present contributions that you make and the bright future that you have.

Jimmy Carter

 

Ronald REAGAN – April 22, 1981

 

“Like the genocide of the Armenians before it, and the genocide of the Cambodians which followed it — and like too many other such persecutions of too many other peoples — the lessons of the Holocaust must never be forgotten.”

Proclamation 4838 of April 22, 1981

Days of Remembrance of Victims of the Holocaust

by the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

The Congress of the United States established the United States Holocaust Memorial Council to create a living memorial to the victims of the Nazi Holocaust. Its purpose: So mankind will never lose memory of that terrible moment in time when the awful specter of death camps stained the history of our world.

When America and its allies liberated those haunting places of terror and sick destructiveness, the world came to a vivid and tragic understanding of the evil it faced in those years of the Second World War. Each of those names — Auschwitz, Buchenwald, Dachau, Treblinka and so many others — became synonymous with horror.

The millions of death, the gas chambers, the inhuman crematoria, and the thousands of people who somehow survived with lifetime scars are all now part of the conscience of history. Forever must we remember just how precious is civilization, how important is liberty, and how heroic is the human spirit.

Like the genocide of the Armenians before it, and the genocide of the Cambodians which followed it — and like too many other such persecutions of too many other peoples — the lessons of the Holocaust must never be forgotten.

As part of its mandate, the Holocaust Memorial Council has been directed to designate annual Day of Remembrance as a national, civic commemoration of the Holocaust, and to encourage and sponsor appropriate observances throughout the United States. This year, the national Days of Remembrance will be observed on April 26 through May 3.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, RONALD REAGAN, President of the United States of America, do hereby ask the people of the United States to observe this solemn anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camps, with appropriate study, prayers and commemoration, as a tribute to the spirit of freedom and justice which Americans fought so hard and well to preserve.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this 22nd day of April, in the year of our Lord Nineteen hundred and eight-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fifth.

Ronald Reagan

 

George BUSH – April 20, 1990

 

April 20, 1990 — Armenian Remembrance Day

Throughout this century, the United States has had a special, enduring relationship with the Armenian people. Armenians around the world share with their friends in the United States a love of freedom, and as proud people they have a strong commitment to the preservation of their heritage and culture.

Their history, though marked by a number of tragedies, nonetheless reflects their faith and the strength and resilience of their tradition. Those tragedies include the Earthquake of 1988 and, most prominently, the terrible massacres suffered in 1915-1923 at the hands of the rulers of the Ottoman Empire.

The United States responded to the victims of the crime against humanity by leading international diplomatic and private relief efforts.

The Armenian-American community now numbers nearly one million people. Those who emigrated to the United States, and their descendants, continue to make significant contributions to the betterment of our country in many fields of endeavor.

On this seventy-fifth anniversary of the massacres, I wish to join with Armenians and all peoples in observing April 24, 1990 as a day of remembrance for the more than a million Armenian people who were victims. I call upon all peoples to work to prevent future acts of inhumanity against mankind, and my comments of June 1988 represent the depth of my feeling for the Armenian people and the sufferings they have endured.

George Bush

 

Bill CLINTON – April 24, 1994

 

April 22, 1994 — Armenian Remembrance Day

On this solemn day, I join Armenians from around the world in remembering the victims of the 1915 massacres in the Ottoman Empire. The effects of that tragedy have profoundly touched all of us, and together we mourn the terrible loss of so many innocent lives.

Yet even in the face of this devastating event, the rich and vibrant Armenian culture has continued to thrive. Demonstrating remarkable resilience and courage, Armenian Americans have made enormous contributions to our development and success as a country. Now, with the creation of a new and independent Armenia under President Ter-Petrosyan’s leadership, the Armenian people are bringing the same determination to creating a democracy and a modern economy in their native land. Recalling the brave spirit of those who died in the violence of 1915, these important efforts honor their lasting legacy.

As we rededicate ourselves to building an Armenia of great prosperity and lasting peace, I extend best wishes to all for a meaningful observance.

Bill Clinton

 

Bill CLINTON – April 23, 1995

 

April 23, 1995 — Armenian Remembrance Day

On this solemn day, I join with Armenians throughout the United States, in Armenia, and around the world in remembering the 80th anniversary of the Armenians who perished, victims of massacres in the last years of the Ottoman Empire. Their loss is our loss; their courage a testament to mankind’s indomitable spirit.

It is this spirit that kept the hope of Armenians alive through the centuries of persecution. It is this spirit that lives today in the hearts of all Armenians — in their church, in their language, in their culture. And, it is this spirit that underpins the remarkable resilience and courage of Armenians around the world. The Armenian American community — now nearly one million strong — has made enormous contributions to America. Now, with the emergence of an independent Armenia, the Armenian people are bringing the same determination to building democracy and a modern economy in their native land.

Even as we commemorate the past — which we must never forget — we commit ourselves today to Armenia’s future as an independent and prosperous nation, at peace with its neighbors and with close ties to the West. That is why the United States has provided more that $445 million in assistance to alleviate humanitarian needs and support democratic and economic reform. I will do everything in my power to preserve assistance levels for Armenia.

I continue to be deeply concerned about the conflict in the region surrounding Armenia. The terrible effects of this war have been felt throughout the Caucasus: tens of thousand have died, more that a million have been displaced, economies have been shattered, and security threatened. The United States is committed to working with the Organization on Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to encourage Armenia and Azerbaijan to move beyond their cease-fife to a lasting political settlement. I plan to nominate a Special Negotiator for Nagorno-Karabakh at the rank of Ambassador to advance those negotiations. And I pledge United States support of OSCE efforts to back that settlement with a peacekeeping force.

The U.S. also seeks to encourage the regional cooperation that will build prosperity and reinforce peace. I commend the recent decision of the Government of Turkey to open air corridors to Armenia, which will make assistance delivery faster, cheaper and more reliable. We had urged that it do so and hope this is a first step toward lifting other blockades in the region, initially for humanitarian deliveries and then overall. Open borders would help create the conditions needed for economic recovery and development, including construction of a Caspian oil pipeline through the Caucasus to Turkey, which is a key to long-term prosperity in the region.

The Administration’s efforts — assistance in support of reform, reinforced efforts toward peace settlement, building broad regional cooperation and encouraging the development of a Caspian oil pipeline through the Caucasus to Turkey — represent the key building blocks of U.S. policy to support the development of an independent and prosperous Armenia.

On this 80th anniversary of the Armenian massacres, I call upon all people to work to prevent future acts of such inhumanity. And, as we remember the past, let us also rededicate ourselves to building a democratic Armenia of prosperity and lasting peace.

 

Bill CLINTON – April 24, 1996

 

April 24, 1996 — Armenian Remembrance Day

Eighty-one years ago today, in the city of Constantinople, more than two hundred Armenian civic, political, and intellectual leaders were arrested, deported and subsequently executed. That day marked the beginning of one of this century’s darkest moments.

I join with Armenians around the world, on this solemn day, in commemorating the senseless deportations and massacres of one and a half million Armenians that took place from 1915-1923 in the Ottoman Empire. Tragically, our century has repeatedly borne witness to man’s senseless inhumanity to man. Together we mourn the terrible loss of so many innocent lives.

Despite this tragedy, your faith and courage helped you survive and prosper. You never lost sight of your Armenian heritage; you preserved it and passed it on through the generations. As a result, Armenian Americans have made immense contributions to America’s prosperity, science, and culture. Your great spirit also kept alive the dream of an independent Armenia and helped to overcome Soviet rule. Today, that same spirit is helping to build a free and prosperous state in your homeland. Your contributions around the would, and now especially in Armenia, honor the memory of those who died unjustly in the massacres.

As we rededicate ourselves to the future of Armenia as a free and prosperous state secured by lasting peace with its neighbors, I extend to Armenians across the globe my heartfelt wishes for a meaningful observance.

Bill Clinton

 

Bill CLINTON – April 22, 1997

 

April 22, 1997 — Armenian Remembrance Day

Each year on Remembrance Day, we join Armenian-Americans across our nation and the Armenian Community around the world in solemnly marking one of the darkest chapters in the history of the twentieth century: the massacre of untold thousands of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire between 1915 and 1923. We remember the victims of that terrible time, some one and a half million innocent people who suffered deportation and death.

The Armenian people responded nobly to this tragedy. Holding fast to their heritage and their faith, Armenians established vibrant and prosperous communities throughout the world. The United States has benefited greatly from the contributions of the many Armenian-Americans who have played leadership roles in every aspect of our national life.

Over the decades of this century, Armenians around the world kept alive the vision of an independent Armenia, and in 1991 that dream became a reality. Today Armenia is a free and sovereign state, a living monument to the memory of those who died eighty-two years ago and a lasting pledge that such a tragedy never again will occur.

To preserve the historic establishment of a free Armenia, we must redouble our commitment to peace and stability in the Caucasus region. It is in this spirit of peace that I extend to all Armenians my best wishes as we solemnly observe Remembrance Day.

Bill Clinton

 

Bill CLINTON – April 24, 1998

 

April 24, 1998 — Armenian Remembrance Day

This year, as in the past, we join with Armenian-Americans throughout the nation in commemorating one of the saddest chapters in the history of this century, the deportations and massacres of a million and a half Armenians in the Ottoman Empire in the years 1915-1923.

This painful event from the past also serves as a powerful lesson for the future: that man’s inhumanity to man must not be tolerated, and that evil cannot conquer. The Armenian people have endured, surviving the ravages of two World Wars and seven decades of Soviet rule. Throughout the world, and especially in this country, Armenians have contributed to the material, intellectual and spiritual lives of their adopted homes. Today’s Armenians are building a free and independent nation that stands as a living tribute to all those who died.

The United States will continue working to preserve a free Armenia in a peaceful, stable and prosperous Caucasus region. In that spirit, I extend to all Armenians my best wishes on Remembrance Day in the fervent hope that those who died will never be forgotten.

Bill Clinton

 

Bill CLINTON – April 19, 1999

 

The White House

April 19, 1999

Office of the Press Secretary

STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT

This week marks the commemoration of one of the saddest chapters of this century: the deportations and massacres of one and a half million Armenians in the closing years of the Ottoman empire. We join with Armenian-Americans across the nation and with the Armenian community abroad to mourn the loss of so many innocent lives. Today, against the background of events in Kosovo, all Americans should recommit themselves to building a world where such events never occur again.

As we learn from the past, we also build for the future. In this country, Armenian-Americans have made great contributions to every field, from science, to commerce, to culture. Meanwhile, the people of Armenia, who suffered not only from the massacres, but the ravages of two world wars and the pain of seventy years of Soviet rule, at last have obtained their independence and their freedom. Armenia is pursuing democratic and market reforms, assuming its rightful place among the members of the Euro-Atlantic community of nations. We wish the people of Armenia – and all of their neighbors in the Caucasus region – success in their efforts to bring about the lasting peace and prosperity that they deserve. America will continue to support these efforts.

ON behalf of the American people, I extend my best wishes to all Armenians at this time of remembrance.

 

Bill CLINTON – April 24, 2000

 

April 24, 2000

STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary
(New York, New York)

For Immediate Release

Today we remember a great tragedy of the twentieth century: the deportations and massacres of roughly one and a half million Armenians in the final years of the Ottoman Empire. I join Armenians around the world, including the Armenian-American community, in mourning the loss of those innocent lives. I also extend my sympathy to the survivors and their descendants for the hardships they suffered. I call upon all Americans to renew their commitment to build a world where such events are not allowed to happen again. The lesson we must learn from the stark annals of history is that we must forge a more humane future for the peoples of all nations.

Our own society has benefited immeasurably from the contributions of Armenian-Americans. They have enriched every aspect of American life, from science, to commerce, to the arts. For the past eight and a half years, the Armenian people have been engaged in an historic undertaking to establish democracy and prosperity in the independent Republic of Armenia. Their courage, energy and resourcefulness inspire the admiration of all Americans, and we are proud to extend our assistance to help realize the dream of a vital and vibrant Armenia. The United States fully supports the efforts of Armenia and its neighbors to make lasting peace with one another and to begin an era of security and cooperation in the Caucasus region. We encourage any and all dialogue between citizens of the region that hastens reconciliation and understanding.

On behalf of the American people, I extend my best wishes to all Armenians on this solemn day of remembrance.

 

George W. BUSH – April 24, 2001

 

Today marks the commemoration of one of the great tragedies of history: the forced exile and annihilation of approximately 1.5 million Armenians in the closing years of the Ottoman Empire. These infamous killings darkened the 20th century and continue to haunt us to this day. Today, I join Armenian Americans and the Armenian community abroad to mourn the loss of so many innocent lives. I ask all Americans to reflect on these terrible events.

While we mourn the tragedy that scarred the history of the Armenian people, let us also celebrate their indomitable will which has allowed Armenian culture, religion, and identity to flourish through the ages. Let us mark this year the 1700th anniversary of the establishment of Christianity in Armenia. Let us celebrate the spirit that illuminated the pages of history in 451 when the Armenians refused to bow to Persian demands that they renounce their faith. The Armenian reply was both courageous and unequivocal: “From this faith none can shake us, neither angels, nor men, neither sword, fire or water, nor any bitter torturers.” This is the spirit that survived again in the face of the bitter fate that befell so many Armenians at the end of the Ottoman Empire.

Today, that same spirit not only survives, but thrives in Armenian communities the world over. Many Armenian survivors and their descendents chose to live in the United States, where they found safety and built new lives. We are grateful for the countless ways in which Armenian Americans continue to enrich America’s science, culture, commerce and, indeed, all aspects of our national life.

One of the most important ways in which we can honor the memory of Armenian victims of the past is to help modern Armenia build a secure and prosperous future. I am proud that the United States actively supports Armenia and its neighbors in finding a permanent and fair settlement to the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute. I hope that this year we will see peace and reconciliation flourish in the south Caucasus region between Armenia and all its neighbors. The United States welcomes the opportunity to support the courageous efforts by the Armenian people to overcome years of hardship and Soviet repression to create a prospering, democratic, and sovereign Republic of Armenia.
Let us remember the past and let its lessons guide us as we seek to build a better future. In the name of the American people, I extend my heartfelt best wishes to all Armenians as we observe this solemn day of remembrance.

 

George W. BUSH – April 24, 2002

 

Today, we commemorate an appalling tragedy of the 20th century, the massacre of as many as 1.5 million Armenians through forced exile and murder at the end of the Ottoman Empire. These horrific killings left wounds that remain painful for people in Armenia, in Turkey, and around the world. I join the Armenian community in America and across the globe in mourning this horrendous loss of life.

Today is an occasion for the world to reflect upon and draw lessons from these terrible events. It is a day for recognizing that demonizing others lays the foundation for a dark cycle of hatred. Transcending this venomous pattern requires painful introspection about the past and wise determination to forge a new future based on truth and reconciliation. In this spirit, I look forward to Turkey restoring economic, political, and cultural links with Armenia.

The United States greatly values the contributions that Armenians make to our national life. With faith and courage, generations of Armenians have overcome great suffering and proudly preserved their centuries-old culture, traditions, and religion. The United States is also deeply grateful for Armenia’s swift and decisive cooperation in the war against terrorism.

Just as the United States reached out to the Armenian people to provide shelter and freedom early in the last century, so did Armenia extend a supportive hand to the American people in the immediate aftermath of September 11. Our two peoples stand together in this fight in support of values that define civilization itself.

I am also very proud of America’s strong support for a free Armenian state, whose citizens enjoy the fruits of peace and increasing prosperity. In the months to come, America will continue to increase its security cooperation with Armenia and with Armenia’s neighbors to combat terrorism and pursue a lasting and just settlement to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, which will strengthen peace and stability in the Caucasus. The United States will also continue its strong support for Armenia’s efforts to develop democratic and free market institutions, and to deepen its integration into the Euro-Atlantic community.

On behalf of the American people, I send warm wishes and expressions of solidarity to the Armenian people on this solemn day of remembrance. Together, our nations look with hope and determination toward a future of peace, prosperity, and freedom.

 

George W. BUSH – April 24, 2003

 

Presidential Message: Armenian Remembrance Day, 2003

Today marks the anniversary of a horrible tragedy, the mass killings and forced exile of countless Armenians in the final days of the Ottoman Empire. Many Armenians refer to these appalling events as the “great calamity,” reflecting a deep sorrow that continues to haunt them and their neighbors, the Turkish people. The suffering that befell the Armenian people in 1915 is a tragedy for all humanity, which the world should not forget. I join the Armenian-American community and Armenians around the world in mourning the horrendous loss of life.

I also salute our wise and bold friends from Armenia and Turkey who are coming together in a spirit of reconciliation to consider these events and their significance. I applaud them for rising above bitterness, and taking action to create a better future. I wish them success, building on their recent and significant achievements, as they work together in a spirit of hope and understanding.

As we remember those who perished and suffered, we salute the nation of Armenia, and Armenians everywhere. The United States is grateful for the contributions of Armenian Americans to our national life. Generations of Armenians have employed wisdom, courage, and centuries-old traditions to overcome great suffering and enrich their adopted American homeland.

The United States is proud to be a friend of Armenia, a young state with an ancient heritage. We are deepening our partnership to help achieve a secure, prosperous, and dignified future for the citizens of Armenia. The United States is committed to achieving a just and lasting settlement to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. We will also continue to help Armenia as it strives to strengthen its democracy and market economy.

On behalf of the American people, I send solemn wishes to the Armenian people on this day of remembrance. Our nations stand together, determined to create a future of peace, prosperity, and freedom for the citizens of our countries, for our regions, and for the world.

Signed

GEORGE W. BUSH

 

George W. BUSH – April 24, 2004

 

Armenian Remembrance Day

On this day, we pause in remembrance of one of the most horrible tragedies of the 20th century, the annihilation of as many as 1.5 million Armenians through forced exile and murder at the end of the Ottoman Empire. This terrible event remains a source of pain for people in Armenia and Turkey and for all those who believe in freedom, tolerance, and the dignity of every human life. I join with my fellow Americans and the Armenian community in the United States and around the world in mourning this loss of life.

The United States is proud of the strong ties we share with Armenia. From the end of World War I and again since the reemergence of an independent Armenian state in 1991, our country has sought a partnership with Armenia that promotes democracy, security cooperation, and free markets. Today, our Nation remains committed to a peace settlement in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and is grateful for Armenia’s continuing cooperation in the war on terror. By advancing understanding and goodwill, free nations can help build a brighter future for the world. Our country seeks to help Armenia expand its strategic relations with the United States and our European allies.

Generations of Armenian Americans have also strengthened our communities and enriched our Nation’s character. By preserving their heritage, faith, and traditions, Armenian Americans enhance the diversity that makes America great.

I commend individuals in Armenia and Turkey who have worked to support peace and reconciliation, including through the Turkish-Armenian Reconciliation Commission, and call on Armenia and Turkey to restore their economic, political, and cultural ties. I also send warm wishes and expressions of solidarity to the Armenian people on this solemn day of remembrance.

GEORGE W. BUSH

 

George W. BUSH – April 24, 2005

 

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
April 24, 2005

President’s Statement on Armenian Remembrance Day.
On Armenian Remembrance Day, we remember the forced exile and mass killings of as many as 1.5 million Armenians during the last days of the Ottoman Empire. This terrible event is what many Armenian people have come to call the “Great Calamity.” I join my fellow Americans and Armenian people around the world in expressing my deepest condolences for this horrible loss of life.

Today, as we commemorate the 90th anniversary of this human tragedy and reflect on the suffering of the Armenian people, we also look toward a promising future for an independent Armenian state. The United States is grateful for Armenia’s contributions to the war on terror and to efforts to build a democratic and peaceful Iraq. We remain committed to supporting the historic reforms Armenia has pursued for over a decade. We call on the Government of Armenia to advance democratic freedoms that will further advance the aspirations of the Armenian people. We remain committed to a lasting and peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. We also seek a deeper partnership with Armenia that includes security cooperation and is rooted in the shared values of democratic and market economic freedoms.

I applaud individuals in Armenia and Turkey who have sought to examine the historical events of the early 20th century with honesty and sensitivity. The recent analysis by the International Center for Transitional Justice did not provide the final word, yet marked a significant step toward reconciliation and restoration of the spirit of tolerance and cultural richness that has connected the people of the Caucasus and Anatolia for centuries. We look to a future of freedom, peace, and prosperity in Armenia and Turkey and hope that Prime Minister Erdogan’s recent proposal for a joint Turkish-Armenian commission can help advance these processes.

Millions of Americans proudly trace their ancestry to Armenia. Their faith, traditions, and patriotism enrich the cultural, political, and economic life of the United States. I appreciate all individuals who work to promote peace, tolerance, and reconciliation.

On this solemn day of remembrance, I send my best wishes and expressions of solidarity to Armenian people around the world.

 

George W. BUSH – April 24, 2006

 

Presidential Message

April 24, 2006

Today, we remember one of the horrible tragedies of the 20th century — the mass killings and forced exile of as many as 1.5 million Armenians in the final days of the Ottoman Empire in 1915. This was a tragedy for all humanity and one that we and the world must never forget.

We mourn this terrible chapter of history and recognize that it remains a source of pain for people in Armenia and for all those who believe in freedom, tolerance, and the dignity and value of every human life. It is a credit to the human spirit and generations of Armenians who live in Armenia, America, and around the globe that they have overcome this suffering and proudly preserved their centuries-old culture, traditions, and religion.

We praise the individuals in Armenia and Turkey who have sought to examine the historical events of this time with honesty and sensitivity. The analysis by the International Center for Transitional Justice, while not the final word, has made a significant contribution toward deepening our understanding of these events. We encourage dialogues, including through joint commissions, that strive for a shared understanding of these tragic events and move Armenia and Turkey towards normalized relations.

Today, we look with hope to a bright future for Armenia. Armenia’s Millennium Challenge Compact reflects our confidence and the importance we place in Armenia making progress on democratic reform and advancement of free markets. We seek to help Armenia bolster its security and deepen its inclusion in the Euro-Atlantic family. We remain committed to securing a peaceful and lasting settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and hope the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan will take bold steps to achieve this goal.

On this solemn day of remembrance, Laura and I express our deepest condolences to the Armenian people. Our nations stand together, determined to create a future of peace, prosperity, and freedom for the citizens of our countries and the world.

GEORGE W. BUSH

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