Glendale Community College students gathered at Plaza Vaquero on Wednesday in commemoration of the Armenian Genocide that featured survivor Sam Kadorian, 94, as a speaker.
“OK, people say forgive and forget,” said Kadorian. “As a good person I will forgive, but how the heck can I forget? Every morning when I shave I see the scar on my cheek.”
Sponsored by the Armenian Students Association of GCC, the event started at 10 a.m. with dozens of posters lining the pathway of Plaza Vaquero. The boards displayed newspaper articles from 1915, poetry, first-hand accounts, and pictures portraying victims of the genocide.
There was also a film montage at the event, prepared by ASA adviser Levon Marashlian.
The film included interviews with survivors, news reports and 15 minutes of a movie titled “Ravished Armenia.”
“We wanted to make it educational. We wanted it to have substance,” said Marashlian.
Among the various speakers was ASA genocide commemoration chairperson Aris Hovasapian.
“We are here to remember 1.5 million lost souls,” Hovasapian said.
Representatives from Sen. Jack Scott, D-Pasadena, and Congressman Adam Schiff’s, D-Burbank, office were at the event along with Glendale City Council member Frank Quintero.
Quintero said that the American flag was not going to be lowered on April 24 on the grounds that it violates the flag code.
However, the city has formed a committee of about 25 people to organize an annual genocide commemoration event.
Plans from the committee include setting aside a part of the Glendale Central Library where books, periodicals and videos of the genocide will be kept. The city is also looking for a location for a genocide memorial. According to Quintero, the most probable location for the site would be the parking lot to the south of the Civic Auditorium.
With this new memorial project at hand, the city has launched a nationwide search for any artist able to create a fitting depiction of the Armenian Genocide.
Greg Krikorian from the Glendale Unified School District Board of Education was also present. He announced that for the first time, five area high schools were gathering to commemorate the Armenian Genocide today at the Glendale High School Auditorium. “We are here to support each other and help fight denial, and to help our cause,” said Krikorian.
“It’s a necessity to have this event not for only us Armenians, but as intellectuals who come to college,” said Levon Bagramian, vice president of the ASA. “It’s the idea, not the people, and it would be wrong to accept the Jewish Holocaust and not the Armenian Genocide.”