Memorializing Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to proclaim August 7, 2019, as Assyrian Memorial Day in the State of New York

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Senate Resolution No. 2081

BY: Senator KAPLAN

MEMORIALIZING Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to proclaim
August 7, 2019, as Assyrian Memorial Day in the
State of New York

WHEREAS, This Legislative Body is justly proud to memorialize
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to proclaim August 7, 2019, as Assyrian
Memorial Day in the State of New York, as it is observed by Assyrians
worldwide, celebrating the Assyrian cultural identity; and

WHEREAS, During the Assyrian Genocide of 1915-1918, 750,000 men,
women, and children of Assyrian descent lost their lives at the hands of
the Ottoman Turkish Empire in its attempt to systematically eliminate
the Assyrian race, while hundreds of thousands became homeless and
stateless refugees; and

WHEREAS, August 7, 1933, is recognized by the International
Association of Genocide Scholars as the date on which 3,000 thousand
Assyrians were killed at the orders of the Iraqi government in an event
known as the Simele Massacre, which continued the legacy of persecution
exemplified by the 1915 Assyrian Genocide; and

WHEREAS, August 7th, globally observed by the Assyrian community as
Assyrian Memorial Day, is in remembrance of the Simele Massacre and of
all persecution the Assyrian people have faced as a result of their
distinct and ancient ethnic and religious identity; and

WHEREAS, Starting in 2014, following ISIS' takeover of the Iraqi
government, the Assyrians have suffered persecution at the hands of ISIS
which has been recognized as a genocide by the European Parliament, the
United States Department of State and House of Representatives, and now,
with this Resolution, the New York State Government; and

WHEREAS, Between the years of 2003 and 2018, the Assyrian population
in its ancestral homeland of Mesopotamia, where it has existed for over
6,000 years, dropped from 1,500,000 to under 250,000 people, due to the
genocide committed against it by ISIS; and

WHEREAS, The crimes against humanity committed by ISIS against
Assyrians have not only resulted in the killing and displacement of
disturbing numbers of innocent people, but have also had the consequence
of the enslavement and rape of countless women and children, and the
destroying of ancient churches, artifacts, and cities that were bastions
of the Assyrian cultural heritage; and

WHEREAS, The Assyrian people have been denied the right to
self-determination on their ancestral lands; they have received no form
of reparations for their tragic losses; and without an autonomous state
in their ancestral homeland, they lack protection from targeted attacks
that have been historically persistent; and

WHEREAS, The Assyrians living in their homeland of Mesopotamia speak
the Assyrian-Aramaic language, practice their distinct and ancient rite
of Christianity, and celebrate their cultural customs regularly; and

Assyrians in diaspora cannot practice, and in effect preserve, these
cultural bastions to the degree that the homeland population does due to
the effects of cultural assimilation; therefore, the Assyrian homeland
population is the foundation that keeps the Assyrian identity alive; and

WHEREAS, With the Assyrian population in Mesopotamia having been
nearly destroyed by the genocide committed by ISIS, Assyrians in
diaspora are losing hope for the future of their venerable and storied
ethnic identity, as it is now quickly fading away; and

WHEREAS, The response of the people of New York State to the recent
refugee crisis shows there is a strong desire for government to stand in
solidarity with persecuted and downtrodden ethnic groups; and

WHEREAS, The State of New York endeavors to champion human rights
and the recognition of diverse cultural, ethnic, and religious
identities, and to uphold the support that constituents have shown for
underserved and persecuted minorities; and

WHEREAS, Assyrians in New York, and throughout the world, have not
been provided with justice for the crimes perpetrated against the
Assyrian nation; and, as a result of this, these crimes have been
repeated several times in recent history, to the point of near
annihilation of the Assyrian homeland community; and

WHEREAS, New York State is a leader in terms of progress and social
justice; we acknowledge that this Resolution makes New York State the
first state to recognize Assyrian Memorial Day, and to recognize the
Assyrian Genocide as a distinct historical event; it is our hope that
other states will follow this model and recognize these two important
events; and

WHEREAS, By consistently remembering and forcefully condemning the
atrocities committed against the Assyrians, honoring the cultural
identity of this suffering group, and calling for action to aid them in
their struggles, we can provide the American public with a greater
awareness of their plight, and provide the Assyrian diaspora community
with a symbol of hope for the future, which can in turn spur efforts to
enact justice on their behalf; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That this Legislative Body pause in its deliberations to
memorialize Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to proclaim August 7, 2019, as
Assyrian Memorial Day in the State of New York; and be it further

RESOLVED, That copies of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be
transmitted to The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor of the State of
New York; and the Assyrian American Association of Yonkers.


  • 14 / Jun / 2019

Resolution Details

Law Section:
Resolutions, Legislative


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