At this moment, Ronald Reagan is the only US president who kept his election promises regarding the fact of the Armenian Genocide in his declaration. On the Day of Remembrance of Victims of the Holocaust on April 22, 1981, President Reagan proclaimed, in particular:
“Like the genocide of the Armenians before it, and the genocide of the Cambodians which followed it — and like too many other such persecutions of too many other peoples — the lessons of the Holocaust must never be forgotten.”
In the same year, April 24 was declared “the day of commemoration of the victims of the genocide, US citizens of Armenian origin who became victims of the 1915 genocide”.
And three years later, the declaration of President Ronald Reagan played a significant role in the adoption by the House of Representatives of the second resolution on the recognition of the Armenian Genocide on April 10, 1984.
As seen in the photo, Ronald Reagan gave a speech at the memorial to the victims of the Armenian Genocide in Montebello in April 1969. On April 24, Governor Ronald Reagan and a number of high-ranking officials for the first time officially visited the memorial to the victims of the Armenian Genocide in Montebello.
It should be noted that on that day, more than 50 thousand people came to honor the memory of their ancestors. Ronald Reagan sat next to His Holiness Khoren I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia. The speech by Ronald Reagan lasted more than 15 minutes:
“I am proud and touched by the fact that now I am here alongside the great Armenian people. Today, we remember the victims of one of the worst tragedies in the history of mankind – the Armenian Genocide. We do not have the moral right to forget the tragedy of the Armenian people who had made an invaluable contribution to the treasury of world science and culture.”
It was Ronald Reagan who initiated the tradition in which every governor of California, and later the President of the United States, every year on April 24 directly addresses the Armenian people.
Of course, the Armenian community of the United States had no doubt who to support in the upcoming presidential elections. In the presidential campaign of Reagan, the main role was also assigned to the Armenians. The main board of speechwriters (the preparers of official speeches) was entrusted to Kenneth Khachigian who had previously held the position of the personal speechwriter of the former US President Richard Nixon.
Khachigian not only began to prepare pre-election speeches but also managed to thoroughly analyze and identify the foreign policy mistakes of the then US President Jimmy Carter’s administration, which allowed Reagan to prepare a brilliant material on his foreign policy vision for the near future.
George Deukmejian Jr. was appointed the main adviser. Reagan trusted Deukmejian like no one else; after winning the election, the new president offered him the post of the Vice President of the US, but Deukmejian refused the offer. Instead, he decided to fully concentrate on his campaign in the elections of the Governor of California, which he would win.