TALLAHASSEE, FL – Yesterday, the Florida state Senate adopted SR 1878, the Armenian Martyrs Remembrance Day resolution to mark the 98th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, reported Florida Armenians. Armenian-Americans from Miami and Boca Raton joined members of the local Tallahassee Armenian community to mark the historic day.
“It’s like a weight lifted off my back,” stated Margaret Atayants, a student at Tallahassee Community College. “I’m grateful to the Florida Senate for honoring and recognizing the victims of the first genocide of the twentieth century,” she said.
Senator Jack Latvala (R-Pinellas) introduced SR 1878 and spoke in favor of the resolution on the Senate floor. He then recognized Armenian-American community members observing the historic moment from the gallery.
“The entire St. Hagop Armenian Church community of the Gulf Coast is thankful for the efforts of our elected officials,” stated Rev. Fr. Hovnan Demerjian, pastor of St. Hagop Armenian Church. “Each time a genocide recognition resolution is introduced and passed, a small bit of justice is served for victims of the Armenian genocide and all victims of genocide and mass-atrocities,” Fr. Demerjian said.
In 2006, Florida Governor Jeb Bush issued an official proclamation recognizing the Armenian Genocide. However, the Florida legislature had not affirmed this crime against humanity until yesterday.
“This is a historic day for Florida and for all Armenian-Americans,” stated Taniel Koushakjian. “On behalf of the entire Florida Armenian-American community, we thank Senator Latvala, Senate President Gaetz and the entire Florida Senate for their leadership on this important human rights issue,” stated Koushakjian.
Florida Armenians would also like to recognize and give special thanks to Henry Petraki and the Atayants family for their steadfast efforts and support.