California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a proclamation Saturday that declared April 24 a Day of Remembrance for the Armenian Genocide.
In the proclamation, Newsom acknowledged how the Ottoman Empire began actively deporting and murdering Armenian people in 1915, constituting the first genocide of the 20th century. Those who were able to escape were forced to relocate to other parts of the world, Newsom added.
“Armenians bravely forged ahead in the face of unimaginable tragedy,” Newsom said in the proclamation. “Thousands made their homes in California, and we are greater for their contributions.”
Newsom’s proclamation came after President Joe Biden issued a statement recognizing the Armenian Genocide on the same day. Biden is the first U.S. president to do so, whereas former presidents have been reluctant to disrupt relations with Turkey.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has called on Biden to reverse his recognition of the Armenian Genocide. Erdoğan has not made any public comments on Newsom’s proclamation.
“Today and every day, let us recommit ourselves to making certain that we never forget the Armenian Genocide and that we always speak out against hatred and atrocities anywhere they occur,” Newsom said in the proclamation.