Community-Wide Commemorations of the 102nd Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide

On Monday, April 24, 2017, Armenian communities worldwide rallied to mark the 102nd anniversary of the Armenian Genocide and honor the legacy of our holy martyrs with public gatherings, protests, and commemorative events.

Within the Western U.S., the largest of the commemorations was the March for Justice, which mobilized tens of thousands of Armenian-Americans calling for justice and recognition. H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, clergy, community leaders, activists, high-ranking officials including Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, Congressman Adam Schiff, Mayor Eric Garcetti, former Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Councilman Paul Krekorian and others, and members of other ethnic communities gathered at Pan Pacific Park to begin their protest march to the Turkish consulate where a program comprised of remarks and cultural performances was held.

In the evening, the 16th annual commemoration organized by the City of Glendale took place at Alex Theatre featuring Mr. Robert Avetisyan, Permanent Representative of Artsakh to the United States, as the keynote speaker and musical performances. Very Rev. Fr. Torkom Donoyan, Very Rev. Fr. Vache Balekjian, Archpriest Fr. Vazken Atmajian, and Executive Council Vice-Chair Garo Eshgian were in attendance.

On the afternoon of Sunday, April 23rd, the annual community-wide commemoration organized by the United Armenian Council for the Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide took place at the Armenian Genocide Martyrs Monument in Montebello with the participation of elected officials, clergy and community leaders, and thousands of community members. The program began with a prayer service beseeching the intercession of our holy martyrs. Speakers included Congresswoman Linda Sanchez, California State Treasurer John Chiang, Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Krekorian, California State Senator Anthony Portantino, California State Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian, Turkish lawyer, writer, and human rights activist Fethiye Cetin, and Assyrian Genocide scholar Sabri Atman.

In the evening, the annual vigil and candle lighting service organized by the Dro Gomideh was held at the Armenian Genocide Martyrs Monument in Montebello featuring ARF Bureau member Dr. Viken Yacoubian and professor, author, and activist Paul Von Blum as the keynote speakers as well as musical performances. Very Rev. Fr. Muron Aznikian and Rev. Fr. Ashod Kambourian participated in the service with a prayer.

On the evening of Saturday, April 22nd, a commemoration was held at the Armenian Genocide Memorial in Pasadena with the participation of clergy, elected officials, organizations leaders, and community members. On behalf of the Prelate, Very Rev. Fr. Torkom Donoyan, Very Rev. Fr. Vache Balekjian, and Archpriest Fr. Nareg Pehlivanian participated in the program with a prayer.

On Thursday, April 20, over 700 students from Southern California Armenian Schools, joined by elected officials, principals, and teachers, gathered at the Armenian Genocide Martyrs Monument in Montebello to pay tribute to our holy martyrs. Very Rev. Fr. Muron Aznikia, Rev. Fr. Ashod Kambourian, and Deacon Khatchig Shannakian participated in the gathering with an intercessory prayer. The program included remarks, student pledges, and the laying of flowers at the Monument.

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