Candlelight Vigil in Solidarity with Artsakh

On the evening of Tuesday, April 12, 2016, public officials, clergy, and community members gathered at Los Angeles City Hall Park Center for a candlelight vigil in solidarity with Artsakh following recent attacks by Azerbaijan. The vigil was hosted by the Los Angeles City Council and organized by the Artsakh Community Task Force.

The program featured a prayer by church leaders, remarks by L.A. City Councilmember Paul Krekorian, L.A. County Supervisor Michael Antonovich, Minister Plenipotentiary of the Consulate General of Armenia Valery Mkrtoumian, and community leaders, and musical performances.

H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, delivered his message, as follows:

Honorable public officials, dear compatriots and friends,

We greet all of you gathered here in the spirit of peace and brotherhood to pay tribute to the victims of Azerbaijan’s latest assault on Artsakh, to pray for the fallen, the wounded, for all those who have lost loved ones, and those left without a home. We are here to express solidarity with our brethren, to show the world that the Armenian people stands united in defense of our nation, our lands, our rights, and universal human rights.

We thank the Los Angeles City Council for their expression of solidarity in graciously hosting this gathering, and we commend the Artsakh Community Task Force for their great efforts tonight and in the past week. The peace and security of Artsakh is under threat and the lives of its innocent citizens at risk yet again. This hostility and aggression on the part of Azerbaijan has gone on for far too long and must be stopped once and for all.
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It is high time for the international community to unequivocally condemn these indiscriminate and unprovoked attacks against both military and civilian populations, including children and the elderly.

The Armenian people are a patriotic, peaceful, peace-loving, and freedom-loving people. Throughout our long and tumultuous history, we have fought over and over again to defend our lands, lands that have belonged to the Armenian people since ancient times, land that include Artsakh. Today, we are proudly witnessing the latest generation of brave young men risking and sacrificing their lives to protect and preserve our nation.

The Armenian people may be dispersed across the four corners of the world, far from the ancestral lands under attack today, but our motherland lives in the hearts and souls of each and every one of us. We are our soldiers, we are our mountains, we are Artsakh, and Artsakh is Armenia. And Artsakh will always remain Armenia.

In the coming days and weeks especially, as we prepare to commemorate the 101st anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, we call upon our community to unite and take action to make our voices heard. On April 24, let us make history once again as we rally for justice. Let us pledge today that we will never stop remembering, reminding, or demanding. We will not and we cannot be silenced. Truth will prevail, justice will prevail, and the Armenian people will prevail, for good always triumphs over evil. “Through God we will do valiantly, for it is He Who shall tread down our enemies” (Psalm 108:13).

May God bless and protect our beloved motherland, our valiant soldiers, and our brothers and sisters in Armenia, Artsakh, and across the Diaspora. God bless America, and God bless you all.

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