Blog Archives

Armenian National Institute Exhibit Opens at Republic of Armenia’s Ministry of Defense

Major General Lee Tafanelli of the Kansas Army National Guard with U.S. military delegation, U.S. Ambassador Lynne Tracy, Dr. Ashot Melkonian of the Armenian Academy of Sciences, and Defense Minister Davit Tonoyan at the Republic of Armenia’s Defense Ministry for the opening of the ANI exhibit.

YEREVAN, ARMENIA – United States Ambassador to Armenia Lynne Tracy and Kansas Army National Guard Adjutant-General, Major General Lee Tafanelli, joined Armenia’s Minister of Defense Davit Tonoyan for the opening of the exhibit “The United States Military in the First Republic of Armenia 1919-1920” on January 27 at the Republic of Armenia’s Ministry of Defense in Yerevan.

Created by the Washington, D.C.-based Armenian National Institute, the new exhibit focuses on the enormous extent of humanitarian assistance rendered by the United States to Armenia in the aftermath of World War I through the services of American military missions sent to Armenia.

In his opening remarks, Minister Tonoyan thanked Ambassador Tracy for the support extended by the United States in recent years to Armenia. Reflecting on the historical exhibit, Tonoyan noted that: “For many, U.S. assistance during those years was critical, especially the new opportunities created to provide education thanks to which many Armenians received schooling during that difficult time and went on to make impressive achievements.”

Ambassador Tracy delivered welcoming remarks congratulating those present on the occasion of the 28th anniversary of the Armenian Army and spoke about the important work done over the past 100 years.

U.S. General Tafanelli along with his delegation of officers viewed the exhibit and are in Yerevan as part of the U.S.-Armenia military partnership program.

U.S. Ambassador Lynne Tracy, Major General Lee Tafanelli, and Babken Vartanian at the Republic of Armenia’s Defense Ministry for the opening of the ANI exhibit.

Regional Director Arpi Vartanian, speaking on behalf of the Armenian Assembly of America and the Armenian National Institute, pointed out the importance of the high level military mission that U.S. President Woodrow Wilson dispatched to Armenia and stressed their effective intervention in stabilizing the humanitarian crisis in the country despite the small size of the American contingents. She thanked as well Armenia’s servicemen on the occasion of the 28th anniversary of the founding of Armenia’s modern-day army.

The 27-panel exhibit documents the tremendous importance of the U.S. humanitarian intervention during the most difficult years in the life of the newly-formed Armenian state. Based upon the photographic collection of an American medical officer, Dr. Walter P. Davenport, the exhibit reveals the depth and breadth of measures taken by U.S. military personnel to stabilize the humanitarian crisis in Armenia, and especially the caretaking of the most vulnerable part of the population through hospitals, orphanages, food distribution points, and other facilities.

Subtitled “The American Relief Administration and Walter Davenport of the U.S. Army Medical Corps,” the exhibit reveals how in 1919, U.S. military personnel and civilian aid workers cared for tens of thousands of children. As Dr. Davenport reported: “At the present time we are furnishing food and medical relief to 75,000 children daily, this work being done through the medium of orphanages, orphanage hospitals, soup kitchens, cocoa kitchens, milk stations, bread distributing points, orphanage infirmaries, and public dispensaries.”

Dr. Walter P. Davenport with local Armenian medical staff.

The Davenport collection of photographs not only documents the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Armenia, but also the measurable difference American relief efforts made in the span of only a few months. The exhibit displays official and personal records related to Dr. Davenport’s activities in Armenia, which he subsequently reported in The Military Surgeon journal. With 103 photographs, 3 maps, 14 documents, and several newspaper articles, the exhibit pictorially reconstructs the conditions that U.S. military personnel witnessed in Armenia.

The digital version of the ANI exhibit is available on online and free to download from the ANI website where five other exhibits may be viewed. Designed for instructional purposes, the exhibits explain several aspects of the Armenian Genocide that were well documented photographically.

City of Miami Beach Officially Recognizes the Armenian Genocide

Miami Beach City Commissioner Mark Samuelian 

MIAMI BEACH, FL – On Wednesday, December 11, 2019, the City of Miami Beach, Florida passed a resolution officially recognizing the Armenian Genocide, reported FLArmenians.com.

The resolution was introduced by Miami Beach City Commissioner Mark Samuelian and passed unanimously.

“I am extremely proud of my Armenian heritage, and happy to have visited Armenia this summer and seen the wonderful countryside and its people. I commend the U.S. House of Representatives for condemning and recognizing the Armenian Genocide and proud of the City of Miami Beach for adopting this resolution,” Mark Samuelian said in a statement to FLArmenians.com. “In addition, I congratulate the Armenian Genocide Committee, Inc. (AGC) for its efforts in commemorating the Armenian Genocide here in South Florida. This is a significant step in honoring the history of the Armenian people and their contributions,” Samuelian said.

In 2017, Samuelian became the first Armenian American elected official in Miami-Dade County history.

“The City of Miami Beach is the first city in Miami-Dade County to officially recognize the Armenian Genocide, and I know I speak for the thousands of Armenian Americans in Miami-Dade when I say ‘Thank You’ to Commissioner Samuelian, Mayor Gelber, and the entire City Commission on this historic occasion,” stated AGC Chairwoman Arsine Kaloustian. “As the Armenian American community in South Florida continues to grow, AGC will continue to build on our accomplishments and expand Armenian Genocide awareness, education, and affirmation in the Sunshine State,” Kaloustian said.

A copy of the resolution is available here.

BREAKING NEWS: Armenian Genocide Resolution Today in the US Senate

Armenian Genocide Resolution in the Senate:

Senators Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) will request Unanimous Consent to consider the Armenian Genocide Resolution, S.Res.150. Tune in to C-SPAN at approx. 1:00 p.m. EST to watch the Senate Floor live.

Florida Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) is a cosponsor of S. Res. 150. However, Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) is NOT. Call Sen. Rick Scott’s DC Office NOW (202) 224-5274 and urge him to cosponsor the bill and to vote YES should it come up for a vote!

Now is the time to call your Senators and urge them to support S.Res.150!


Quick Facts about the Armenian Genocide Resolution in the Senate:

  • Senator Bob Menendez introduced the Armenian Genocide Resolution, S.Res.150, on April 9, 2019.
  • Including Senator Menendez, a total of 29 Senators have co-sponsored the resolution. Who else has co-sponsored?
  • Following the historic and overwhelming bipartisan vote in favor of H.Res.296 in the House of Representatives, the the Armenian American community pressed for passage of the stand-alone Senate resolution on the Armenian Genocide.
  • On November 13, Senator Bob Menendez requested Unanimous Consent to consider S.Res.150. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) objected, following a meeting earlier that day with Turkish President Erdogan at the White House. Florida Senator Rick Scott was also in the Oval Office meeting with Erdogan.
  • On November 21, Senator Bob Menendez requested Unanimous Consent again to consider S.Res.150, and was joined by Senator Ted Cruz. Senator David Perdue (R-GA) objected, citing “ongoing diplomatic relations with Turkey.” Senator Menendez vowed not to relent.
  • Today, December 5, Senators Bob Menendez and Ted Cruz will once again request Unanimous Consent to consider S.Res.150 at approximately 1:00 PM EST.

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