Governor LePage Proclaims May 28, 2012 as Azerbaijan National Day:

May 28, 2012

For Immediate Release: May 28, 2012
Contact: Adrienne Bennett (207) 287-2531

AUGUSTA - Governor Paul LePage issued the following proclamation declaring May 28, 2012 as Azerbaijan National Day:

"WHEREAS, the Republic of Azerbaijan was proclaimed on May 28, 1918, stretching from the Caucasus mountains in the north to the Araxes river in the south, Caspian Sea in the east to Kerki in the west, including the regions of Karabakh, Zangezur and Nakhichevan: and

WHEREAS, the Republic of Azerbaijan became the first secular Muslim parliamentary democratic republic in the history of the world, and was recognized as such by other democratic nations of the time, including the United States of America; and

WHEREAS, President Woodrow Wilson met with the Azerbaijani delegation on May 28th, 1919, the one year anniversary of Azerbaijan’s founding, and later remarked, “Well, one day there came in a very dignified and interesting group of gentlemen who were from Azerbaijan…I did find this out immediately; that I was talking to men who talked the same language that I did in respect of ideas, in respect of conceptions of liberty and in respect of conceptions of right and justice”; and

WHEREAS, every year for the last 94 years, an estimated 40 million Azerbaijanis around the globe and 400,000 Azerbaijani-Americans remember the contribution of their forefathers to the spread of freedom and democracy in the Caucasus and the greater region and observe May 28th as the National Day of Azerbaijan; and

WHEREAS, the Azerbaijani-Americans are an ethnic community with a recognized presence in our constituency, actively contributing to the regional diversity, intercultural understanding, peace and prosperity; and

WHEREAS, the U.S. Azeris Network (USAN), the first and largest nationwide grassroots advocacy organization of the Azerbaijani-American voters, has been educating the wider American public and fostering greater understanding about Azerbaijan and the importance of May 28, 1918, as a shining example of early Muslim democracy in the greater Middle East.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, PAUL R. LEPAGE, Governor of the State of Maine, do hereby proclaim May 28, 2012 as

AZERBAIJAN NATIONAL DAY

throughout the State of Maine, and urge all citizens to recognize this observance."

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Azerbaijan National Day 5-28-2012 (PDF)