The city of Glendale commemorated the 87th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide this week with its Week of Remembrance. A ceremony held at the Glendale Civic Auditorium on April 24, presented visual representations, speakers and clergy to discuss the genocide that wiped out 1.5 million Armenians from 1915 to 1923.
According to the Armenian community, the Turkish government not only denies that its Ottoman Empire predecessors had any involvement in the genocide, but also fails to recognize that the genocide ever occurred.
A video shown, “Voices From the Lake: The Secret Genocide,” depicted a first hand description of the cruelty and abuse against the Armenian people. Statements along with pictures of survivors Sion Abajian, Haig Baronian, Kristine Hagopian, Sam Kadorian and Edward Racoubian documented chilling accounts of their endurance at such a young age.
“The event gets the word out, gets it recognized, and shows people it happened and it’s real,” said GCC student Elda Marghezi.
The ceremony started with brief introductions by commemoration committee members Carole Sussman, Ara Aharonian and Mayor of Glendale Rafi Manoukian. “The ceremony is much more than a memorial; it marks a new beginning for all and finds a common ground for bringing us together,” he said.
Later that evening, Consul General of the Republic of Armenia Valery Mkrtoumian, Assemblyman Dario Frommer, D-Glendale, and Glendale Community College Professor of History Dr. Levon Marashlian spoke separately about the genocide through discussions.
The clergy, including Archbishop Vatche Hovsepian, Bishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Father Rafael Minassian, and the Rev. Joseph Matossian also attended the ceremony. There were also musical interludes
performed by groups Oratorio and Winds of Passion and by Salfi Mailyan.
The individual speakers conveyed the message that the Week of Remembrance encouraged the Glendale Community to acknowledge the Armenian Genocide and the suffering of the Armenian people. Manoukian said his goal for the evening was to” have a mutual recognition promoting unity and understanding so that inhuman acts such as the genocide are not repeated.”