Prelate Participates in Groundbreaking of Armenian Genocide Monument at Fresno State

By the invitation of the Armenian Genocide Centennial Committee of Fresno, on Sunday, November 2, 2014, hundreds gathered at the courtyard of Fresno State for the groundbreaking of the Armenian Genocide monument. Guests included clergy, elected officials, university officials, community leaders and members.
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H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, participated in the ceremony. He was accompanied by Rev. Fr. Boghos Tinkjian and Rev. Fr. Vahan Gosdanian. Executive Council Chair Mr. Vahe Hovaguimian and members were in attendance, as well as Holy Trinity Church Board of Trustees members.

The program began with the flag ceremony by Homenetmen scouts, followed by the American and Armenian national anthems by Keyan Armenian Community School students. Remarks were delivered by dignitaries and elected officials, Fresno State administrators, Armenian Genocide Centennial Committee members, and Monument Committee members.

The groundbreaking was conducted by clergy, assisted by deacons and choir members. Community representatives and Keyan School students together brought forth the soil, collected from various regions in Armenia, for the clergy to bless.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, the Prelate addressed the gathering, first thanking God for the opportunity to participate in what he referred to as a day of varied emotions. “We are filled with gratitude that this region, home to Armenians for nearly one hundred and fifty years, will finally have its own fitting tribute to the 1.5 million martyrs of the Armenian Genocide. We are proud, of the hard work of the Armenian Genocide Centennial Committee of the San Joaquin Valley and all those involved in implementing and carrying out this historic project. And we are empowered; empowered because this groundbreaking ceremony today sends a resounding message to Turkey and to the world that yes, one hundred years have passed, but the Armenian people will never forget, and we will not let the world forget.”

His Eminence thanked Fresno State President Dr. Joseph Castro and the administration for allotting the site on their campus, and thanked the Committee members for their hard work in planning and implementing the project through which we will keep the memory, sacrifices, and legacy of our martyrs alive, he stated. “The groundbreaking of this monument here today inspires us to keep educating and keep hoping, driven by the Genocide Centennial motto ‘we remember and we demand,’ for the day will come that the Armenian Genocide will be accepted as irrefutable fact by Turkey, by the United States of America, and by all the peoples of the world,” concluded the Prelate.

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