Colorado communities and dignitaries plan to wrap up the Centennial Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide and all other crimes against humanity with “Shine a Light on All Genocides” on December 6. The event will start at the Colorado State Capitol Armenian Genocide Memorial Garden, where Governor John Hickenlooper unveiled a memorial on April 24, 2015, and continue inside the nearby First Baptist Church of Denver.
Organized by Armenians of Colorado (AOC) in partnership with the Colorado chapter of the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA), Colorado Coalition for Genocide Awareness & Action (CCGAA), Consulate General of the Republic of Armenia in Los Angeles, and the Djulfa Virtual Memorial and Museum, the program will be led by the 33rd Speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives Andrew Romanoff. Special guests will include the 38th Governor of Colorado Richard Lamm, the Office of Congressman Mike Coffman, Colorado Senate Minority Leader and former Senate President Morgan Carroll, Consul General of Armenia in Los Angeles Sergey Sarkisov, and ANCA-Western Region Executive Director Elen Asatryan.
“Shine a Light on All Genocides” concludes the Centennial Year of the Armenian Genocide by observing the global day of genocide victims (International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide and of the Prevention of this Crime) and commemorating the 10th anniversary of the genocidal destruction of Djulfa – the world’s largest collection of medieval khachkars (Armenian cross-stones.) The event will include a special presentation by CCGAA’s founder Roz Duman and other Jewish American leaders, who will read an official resolution passed nationally in recognition of the Armenian Genocide. “Shine a Light on All Genocides” will also bring the first Armenian diplomatic delegation to Colorado since the April 24, 2015 unveiling of America’s first statehouse khachkar. ““The Colorado State Capitol Khachkar in memory of the innocent victims of the 1915 Armenian Genocide is a vivid testament to the Armenian and American peoples’ commitment to restoring historical justice,” remarked Consul General of Armenia in Los Angeles Sergey Sarkisov.
Colorado shined in 2015 with groundbreaking events in commemoration of the Armenian Genocide. Educational events included internationally-known speakers Dr. David Fulton – regional director of Facing History & Ourselves, David Barsamian – founder of Alternative Radio, Hratch Kozibeyokian – expert of Armenian Orphan Rugs, and Dr. Susan Pattie – expert of genocide-era artifacts. Centennial highlights included the April 21 premiere of Emmy-winning composer Denise Gentilini’s I AM ALIVE Musical at the Newman Center for Performing Arts and the April 24 Armenian Genocide Khachkar Memorial Unveiling by Governor John Hickenlooper. To thank Colorado for its unmatched support for Armenian Genocide victims since 1915, AOC and ANCA-Colorado hosted a Colorado We Thank You gala in September.
April 24, 2015, marked the 100th anniversary of the start of the Armenian Genocide, a crime that killed 1.5 million indigenous Armenians in Ottoman Turkey and resulted in the loss of the greater part of the Armenian homeland and its ancient Christian heritage. December 2005 also marks the 10th anniversary of Turkic state Azerbaijan’s genocidal destruction of Djulfa – the largest collection of medieval khachkars (Armenian cross-stones). Colorado is home to a vibrant Armenian-American community, many of whom are descendants of the Armenian Genocide while others trace their ancestry to Djulfa (Jugha). AOC has organized Centennial Anniversary events of the Armenian Genocide under the leadership of Board President Sona Hedeshian, Armenian Genocide Centennial Committee Chair Anahid Katchian Logue, and Capitol Khachkar Committee Chair Simon Maghakyan.