Armenians Worldwide Rally to Commemorate the Armenian Genocide Centennial

The centennial of the Armenian Genocide, a historic juncture in the life of the Armenian people, was fittingly commemorated around the world on April 24, 2015 and in the days preceding and following. From Armenia to countries across the globe with Armenian populations, unprecedented commemorations were held to remember our martyrs, to remind the world of our cause, and to demand justice. In an unparalleled show of support and solidarity, foreign and local governments, church heads, and members of various ethnic groups participated in commemorations and joined the Armenian people in calling for recognition of the Armenian Genocide.

Within our community, the largest march in the Western U.S. was held on the morning of Friday, April 24, with over 130,000 people, Armenians and non-Armenians, marching for justice from Little Armenia to the Turkish Consulate. H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, clergy, members of the Executive Council, our parishes, schools, and organizations, participated in the historic march and in various commemorations organized by the Armenian Genocide Centennial Committee – Western Region. The march commenced with prayers and blessings offered by the leaders of the Armenian Apostolic, Catholic, and Evangelical Churches. Powerful remarks were delivered by public officials and leaders of Armenian community organizations, encouraging the people to continue their fight for recognition and justice. Prior to the march, Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell hosted the official unveiling of “Armenian Genocide Memorial Square” at the intersection of Hollywood Blvd. and Western Ave. in Little Armenia.

On the evening of Thursday, April 23rd, solemn Divine Liturgy was celebrated at St. Leon Cathedral in Burbank with the participation of the Armenian Apostolic, Catholic, and Evangelical Churches. The Prelate celebrated Divine Liturgy and delivered his message. His Eminence gave thanks for the gathering of the Armenian churches, community organizations, and large numbers of faithful under one roof to collectively pay tribute to our martyrs. The Prelate noted that just 12 hours earlier His Holiness Karakin II and His Holiness Aram I presided over the canonization ceremony of our martyrs, who are now our guardians and intercessors before God, and concluded by stressing that we will continue undeterred in our quest for justice.
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At the conclusion of Divine Liturgy, a special prayer for our martyrs was offered in front of the memorial monument located in the Cathedral courtyard, given that requiem service is not held for canonized saints.

On the afternoon of the 23rd, Mayor Eric Garcetti and Councilmember Paul Krekorian hosted the official Los Angeles City Council commemoration at City Hall. The event featured a reception, ceremony, and musical performance, and was followed by the planting of a pomegranate tree by Mayor Garcetti and Councilmember Krekorian on the City Hall South Lawn. Prior to the City Council commemoration, a flag lowering ceremony dedicated to the Centennial was held at the Consulate General of Armenia in Glendale.

The official commemoration of the Armenian Genocide Centennial was held on Saturday, April 25, at the Armenian Genocide Monument at Bicknell Park in Montebello, organized by the United Armenian Council of Los Angeles (UACLA). The commemoration featured remarks by public officials and community leaders, and concluded with a joint prayer by spiritual leaders and clergy.

On the evening of Sunday, April 26, the annual City of Glendale commemoration was held at Alex Theatre in Glendale.

By the initiative of Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael Antonovich, on Tuesday, April 28, the annual Board of Supervisors presentation proclaiming April 24 as the “Day of Remembrance for the Armenian Genocide of 1915-1923” was held during the Board’s weekly meeting. Very Rev. Fr. Muron Aznikian, Archpriest Fr. Vicken Vassilian, Archpriest Fr. Nareg Pehlivanian, and Rev. Fr. Vazken Atmajian participated on behalf of the Prelate.

A number of commemorations were also held within our parish communities in Fresno, San Francisco, Las Vegas, and Colorado.

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