Genocide Commemorated in Encino

ENCINO, Calif.—On April 22, over 500 community leaders, members, and ANCA supporters gathered at Holy Martyrs Armenian Ferrahian High School for a Genocide Commemorative event hosted by the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) San Fernando Valley West Chapter in partnership with Hamazkayin “Baruir Sevag” Chapter, Armenian Relief Society “Anahid” Chapter, Homenetmen “Masis” Chapter, and the Armenian Youth Federation “Sardarabad” Chapter.

Members of the audience

Azadouhi Ghazarian who served as the emcee for the evening’s program welcomed guests and invited to the stage Khatchig Mouradian, editor of the Armenian Weekly, to deliver his keynote presentation on the Armenian Genocide and modern Turkey. “In my teenage years, I attended genocide commemorations during which the front rows would all be occupied by survivors,” Mouradian stated. “Very few of them are alive today. Traveling across the country, I now see the younger generation occupying the very same chairs. It is imperative for our generation—descendants of genocide survivors and descendants of brave diplomats and missionaries—to uphold the legacy of the victims and pursue truth and justice.”

The chair of the ANCA-SFW, Nareg Kitsinian Esq., then introduced the dignitaries present, saying, “We would like to thank this impressive group of legislators and friends of the Armenian cause that took the time to stand in solidarity with our community and commemorate the Armenian Genocide.” Kitsinian then invited the dignitaries to the podium to deliver their commemorative remarks, and each pledged to continue supporting just affirmation of the Armenian Genocide. Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield and Councilman Paul Koretz also presented certificates of recognition from the California State Assembly and Los Angeles City Council to the ANCA-SFW for its commitment and dedication towards recognition of the Armenian Genocide.

The evening’s program concluded with dance performances by the Hamazkayin “Nayiri” dance group, songs by the Hamazkayin “Sayat Nova” choir, and an ANCA report presented by the executive director of the ANCA Western Region, William Bairamian, highlighting current issues facing the Armenian community.

Dignitaries present included U.S. Congressman Howard Berman (D-28), Congressman John Sarbanes (D-3), California Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield (D-40), Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Koretz (D-5), and candidate for the 46th California Assembly district Adrin Nazarian.

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