MONTEBELLO, CA — Federal, state and local officials joined thousands of Armenian Americans at the Armenian Genocide Martyrs Monument in Montebello, California on April 24th to commemorate the 95th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. The commemoration was attended by dozens of elected officials, clergy, and community leaders. Delivering remarks during the commemoration were Congressman Adam Schiff (D-21), State Assembly Majority Leader Charles Calderon (D-58), Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, and LA City Councilmember Paul Krekorian. Representatives from the offices of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Senator Barbara Boxer were also in attendance.
During his remarks, State Assembly Majority Leader Charles Calderon (D-58) announced the passage of ACR 148 in the California State Legislature. The passage of ACR 148 calls on the Department of Transportation to erect information signs on Highway 60 in Los Angeles County directing motorists to the Armenian Genocide Martyrs Monument and highlights the Monument as a beacon of awareness for crimes against humanity. The Montebello Armenian Genocide Martyr’s Monument, the first to be built honoring the victims of the Armenian Genocide on public land, has served as the gathering ground for thousands of Armenians in the Los Angeles area to commemorate the Armenian Genocide.
Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Commemorates Armenian Genocide
ANCA-WR representatives, as well as local ANC leaders, joined the Los Angeles County Supervisors in commemorating the 95th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide on April 20th. The Los Angeles County Supervisors issued a proclamation designating April 24, 2010 a “Day of Remembrance for the Armenian Genocide of 1915-1923.”
City of Los Angeles Commemorates Armenian Genocide, Honors Genocide Survivor Michael Hagopian
Councilmember Paul Krekorian and Council President Eric Garcetti led the City of LA’s 95th Anniversary Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide on April 23. The Los Angeles City Council honored the legacy of 96-year-old Dr. J. Michael Hagopian, one of the most enduring survivors of the Genocide and founder of the Armenian Film Foundation. ANCA-WR and AYF leaders and ANC local chapter representatives from across Los Angeles attended the commemoration.
Remarks by ANCA-WR Chairwoman Aida Dimejian during the commemoration:
“Dr. Hagopian deserves this recognition today not only because his work stands the test of time and will continue to educate generations to come on the history of the Armenian Genocide–but also because Dr. Hagopian has dedicated his life to moving forward the Armenian Cause–with intense fervor and commitment–at the same time paying tribute to the memory of the victims and the struggle for recognition of the survivors,” she stated.
Today when we see the House Foreign Affair Committee vote to reaffirm the truth of the Armenian Genocide against a shameful denialist campaign that has continued for over 95 years , or when we look up at billboards throughout this City and see the “Truth Will Prevail” in bold letters next to a photo of a genocide survivor, we need look no further than to Dr. J. Michael Hagopian as the inspiration for that call for truth, dignity and justice. His life’s work stands as inspiration to us all.”
LA City Councilmember Krekorian Demands Justice during AYF Demonstration
Councilmember Krekorian joined a crowd of nearly 10,000 at the Turkish Consulate in Los Angeles on April 24th to demand justice from the Turkish government. Councilmember Paul Krekorian delivered remarks during the annual protest organized by the Armenian Youth Federation. “We stand together, solemnly united, demanding justice for the 1.5 million lives lost,” stated Krekorian. “The only word that is appropriate for the bloodthirsty murder of 1.5 million is the genocide. We insist that our voices will be heard and justice will be served.”
Arizona Armenian Community Marks 95th Anniversary of the Genocide
Over 300 attended the Armenian Genocide Commemoration held on Saturday, April 24th at Bolin Memorial Park across from the Arizona State Capitol Building. During the commemoration, ANC Arizona Chairman Yervant Baltajian highlighted the proclamations issued by the Arizona Governor, and the cities of Tempe and Scottsdale.
ANCA-WR Special Projects Coordinator Tamar Baboujian served as the keynote speaker during the event. “We gather here today not only to remember, but more importantly to take action,” remarked Baboujian. “We commend and thank our friends in the Arizona Legislature who have taken an active role in leading the fight against genocide denial perpetrated by the Turkish Government and its agents here in the U.S., and for standing up for fundamental human rights.”
Armenian Church of the Desert in Rancho Mirage, California Commemorates Armenian Genocide
Nearly a hundred community members attended the Armenian Genocide Commemoration on April 24th organized by the Armenian Church Youth Organization. Public officials who attended the event included California State Assemblymember Brian Nestande, Mayor of Rancho Mirage Richard Kyte, and Indio City Councilmember Emilie Resmire. ANCA-WR Community Relations Haig Hovsepian, who delivered the keynote address, highlighted the American response to the Armenian Genocide at the time. He called on individuals, community leaders and public officials to each do their part and take action to speak out against genocide and its denial.
“Having the ANC join us at our commemoration today fired up our community which has been quiet in the past, but always wanted to raise their voice about our families’ rights being violated,” stated Chris Markarian, Head Deacon at the Armenian Church. “Moving forward and with the support shown by the ANC, we are inspired to come together and continue our fight for this just cause beyond April 24th.”
ANC-PN Joins Prominent Armenian American Casting Director Valerie McCaffrey and Tyche Public Relations during Armenian Genocide Commemoration
ANC Professional Network Chairman Sevag Demirjian was one of the featured speakers during a Genocide commemoration event held on April 24th at home of Valerie Boolootian McCaffrey, a prominent casting director in Hollywood. Demirjian stressed the urgency of advancing the Armenian Genocide Resolution in Congress and the importance of standing up for American values and ending the cycle of genocide. The program also featured various musical and artistic performances.
“It was a great opportunity to spread the Hai Tahd message and bring light to House Resolution 252 to a group of potential activists who may not have otherwise been informed about our issues,” said Demirjian. “I want to express my gratitude to longtime ANCA supporter Valerie McCaffrey for hosting this event and helping raise awareness about the Armenian Cause within her circle of colleagues, family members and friends.”
ANCA-WR Joins Schools and Universities in Southern California to Commemorate Armenian Genocide
ANC Crescenta Valley activist Arick Gevorkian addressed a large crowd of youth during a commemoration at the University of California, Irvine Campus on April 22nd. The vigil, organized by the UCI ASA, AGA sorority, and AEO fraternity, was held at Moss Cove Student Center and featured a color guard presentation by the Homenetmen Scouts, as well as a performance by students from Ari Guiragos Minassian Armenian School of Orange County.
The University of Southern California Armenian Student Association held their Campus Commemoration Event on April 20th, where ANCA-WR Community Relations Director Haig Hovsepian served as keynote speaker. “This event was significant because it placed the Armenian Genocide in a broader public space for USC students who were completely unfamiliar with the issues,” said Anna Mkhikian, a 3rd-year student at USC and member of USC Fight On For Darfur. “It was an eye-opening discussion and one that made us even more aware of the connections between recognizing the Armenian Genocide and ending the cycle of genocide today.”
Hovsepian also spoke during a Genocide commemoration event organized by Chamlian Armenian School on April 22nd at the Armenian Genocide Martyrs Monument in Montebello.