Myrtle Beach City Council Adopts Armenian Genocide Reaffirmation Proclamation
Armenian National Committee of South Carolina Leads the Effort to Memorialize the Genocide of Armenians, Greeks, and Assyrians in Myrtle Beach
MYRTLE BEACH, South Carolina—The City Council of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina adopted a proclamation on May 23 signed by Mayor John T. Rhodes reaffirming the Armenian Genocide of 1915-1923. The proclamation, spearheaded by Council Member Randal Wallace, was timed to coincide with the remembrance day of the Greek Genocide observed every year on May 19.
In the months leading up to the adoption of the proclamation, the Armenian National Committee of South Carolina played an important role in educating the wider Myrtle Beach community and elected officials about the Armenian Genocide by organizing commemoration events, actively promoting The Promise film, and holding meetings.
“We are thankful to our city elected officials – especially to Councilman Randal Wallace and Mayor John Rhodes – for their principled stance against crimes against humanity and human rights violations,” said ANC of South Carolina Chairman Aram Heboyan. “It is important for us to properly commemorate and remember all the innocent victims of this heinous crime if there is any hope in stopping the vicious cycle of genocide.”
Myrtle Beach City Councilman Randal Wallace said, “[I am] very proud to have been a part of this proclamation recognizing the Armenian genocide.”
By way of background, on March 17, 1999 South Carolina General Assembly adopted H.B. 3678 recognizing April 24, 1999, as “South Carolina day of remembrance of the Armenian genocide of 1915-1923” so as to honor the memory of the one and one-half million people of Armenian ancestry who lost their lives during that terrible time and to honor the memory of the victims of genocide throughout the world.
Full text of the proclamation is provided below:
102nd Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide
WHEREAS, the Myrtle Beach community joins human rights advocates and historians from around the world to recognize and mourn the 1.5 million Armenians who perished in the first genocide of the twentieth century, from 1915 to 1923; and
WHEREAS, 2017 marks the 102nd anniversary of the beginning of the Armenian genocide, led by Turkish forces, which included the massacre of Armenians, Greeks and Assyrians due to religious, political, and educational beliefs; and
WHEREAS, the genocide started April 24, 1915, when hundreds of Armenians and others were arrested in Constantinople, and continued for eight years with the horrific annihilation of innocent Armenian men, women and children, leaving fewer than one million survivors; and
WHEREAS, the Armenian culture is celebrated today as a historic reminder of the remarkable courage, resilience and perseverance of the human spirit, and we acknowledge the estimated 100 Armenian families in the Myrtle Beach area for their contributions to our community; and
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT PROCLAIMED that the Myrtle Beach City Council hereby recognizes the 102nd Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide by honoring and remembering those who perished and reaffirms the importance of tolerance, justice and respect, lest hatred against lead to the suffering and destruction of mankind; and
BE IT FURTHER PROCLAIMED that we also recognize the Armenian American families in the Myrtle Beach community for their efforts to advance civil rights as champions of equality.
Signed and sealed this 23rd day of May 2017.
John Rhodes, Mayor
Attest: Joan Grove, City Clerk
Link: Myrtle Beach City Council Adopts Armenian Genocide Reaffirmation Proclamation