|BLOOMFIELD HILLS, MI — The Armenian National Committee (ANC) of Michigan was a co-chair of a reception held on August 19, for Rep. Joe Knollenberg (R-MI) who was awarded the "Order of Mkhitar Gosh" by Dr. Arman Kirakossian, Armenia's Ambassador to the United States. The Order of Mkhitar Gosh is named for the noted 12th century Armenian clergyman, writer, and codifier of the Armenian civil and canon laws. Rep. Knollenberg, the co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues in the US House of Representatives, was recognized by Armenian President Robert Kocharian for his efforts to strengthen relations between the United States and the Republic of Armenia.
The event was hosted and held at the residence of long time community activists Edgar and Sarah Hagopian in Bloomfield Hills, and was attended by approximately 100 friends and supporters. A number of prominent Republican activists from the State of Michigan were also present, including gubernatorial candidate and current Lieutenant Governor Dick Posthumus, Michigan Republican Party chairman and Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, Michigan Attorney General candidate Mike Cox, and Oakland County Prosecutor David Gorcya.
After Ambassador Kirakossian presented the medal on behalf of President Kocharian, Rep. Knollenberg was visibly moved by the honor bestowed upon him. He was particularly grateful to receive this award from the President of Armenia. In his remarks to the audience, Rep. Knollenberg reiterated his long-standing support of Armenian issues in Congress, including US aid to Armenia and recognition of the Armenian Genocide. He also praised the involvement of the Armenian-American community in US politics, and urged individuals to support the work of the Armenian National Committee of America and the Armenian Assembly of America.
After welcoming guests and thanking Rep. Knollenberg for his support of Armenian issues, Mr. Hagopian also urged the community to support the efforts of the ANCA and the Armenian Assembly. Lieutenant Governor Posthumus discussed the Armenian Genocide recognition bill in Michigan, and pledged to support it if elected. Mike Cox discussed his Irish immigrant background, and promised his support for Armenian issues in the state legislature
Ambassador Kirakossian thanked Rep. Knollenberg for his leadership on US-Armenia bilateral relations, as co-chair of the Armenian Caucus and in the Foreign Operations Subcommittee. "Armenia has always felt the support of the United States people and their elected representatives in the US Congress for Armenian issues," Ambassador Kirakossian said. His Excellency expressed his confidence that US-Armenia relations will only grow stronger. He said that the people and the government of Armenia extended their support to the US in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. "Armenia has helped and is helping the US-led campaign against international terrorism in Afghanistan," the Ambassador noted.
"On behalf of the ANC of Michigan, I would like to congratulate Rep. Knollenberg on receiving this award, and thank the Armenian government for recognizing one of our best supporters in Congress," stated Hayg Oshagan.
A number of representatives from the ANC of Michigan attended the event, including ANC of Michigan co-chair Armen Derderian, Ned Apigian, Harry Derderian, ARF Eastern US Central Committee member Hayg Oshagan, ARS Eastern US Regional chairwoman Georgi-Ann Oshagan, and Detroit ARF gomideh chairman Michael Hagopian.
The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) is the largest and most influential Armenian-American grassroots political organization. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout the United States and affiliated organizations around the world, the ANCA actively advances the concerns of the Armenian-American community on a broad range of issues.