Events Commemorating Genocide Centennial Begin in Providence

Additional Events Scheduled throughout the Month of April

PROVIDENCE, R.I.—The first of several special events in Rhode Island to be held during the month of April in commemoration of the Centennial anniversary of the Armenian Genocide took place on April 6. The first event of the month, a lecture by Dr. Henry Theriault, Professor of Philosophy at Worcester State University, took place before a full auditorium at Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Studies. Entitled “Armenian Genocide: 100 Years of Denial,” the lecture was sponsored by the Watson Institute for International Studies and the Armenian Cultural Association of Rhode Island, along with Mayor Scott Avedisian of Warwick and the Honorable Haiganoush Bedrosian, chief judge of the Rhode Island Family Court.

Theriault spoke about how the legacy of genocide is not just recognition, and how recognition alone is not the final step in dealing with genocide and its aftermath; rather, recognition is just one part of a larger process that includes seeking justice and ultimately healing. Theriault also presided over a lengthy question and answer session, which can be viewed online at https://mediacapture.brown.edu:8443/ess/echo/presentation/aa487737-fc08-42ad-8c9d-0dabe614a8f9.

Rhode Island General Assembly (photo: www.rilin.state.ri.us)
Rhode Island General Assembly (photo: www.rilin.state.ri.us)

On April 8, beginning at 3 p.m., the Rhode Island General Assembly will commemorate the Centennial at the Rhode Island State House. Representative Katherine Kazarian and Senator Hanna Gallo will introduce a special Centennial Commemorative Resolution urging President Obama to formally recognize the genocide. The event, organized by the Armenian National Committee (ANC) of Rhode Island, will feature clergy from three Armenian churches and will begin with the “Hayr Mer” prayer. The Homenetmen Scouts will also sing the “Mer Hairenik” anthem and present the colors. An exhibition of genocide-related materials will be on display, and a reception including the governor and other elected officials will be held in the State Room.

On April 17, the Armenian Youth Federation (AYF) and the Armenian Church Youth Organization of America (ACYOA) will sponsor a March and Cultural Program to commemorate the Centennial. Marchers will gather at the corner of Thayer and Lloyd Streets in Providence and will march down Thayer and Congdon toward Prospect Park. The cultural program will take place immediately following the march in Prospect Park. The march will begin at 6 p.m., with the cultural program immediately following. Marchers are requested to gather at 5:45 p.m.

On April 24, the Armenian Cultural Association of America will host the Providence ARF Armenian Genocide Centennial Memorial Dinner featuring guest speaker Marian Mesrobian MacCurdy, a retired professor and author of Sacred Justice: The Voices and Legacy of the Armenian Operation Nemesis. The dinner and award presentation will take place at the Omni Providence Hotel, 1 West Exchange St. in Providence, and will be emceed by the Honorable Scott Avedesian, mayor of Warwick. Cocktails begin at 6 p.m.; dinner at 7 p.m. promptly.

From April 17-24, the Rhode Island State House dome will be illuminated in red, blue, and orange in commemoration of the Centennial. On April 24, the Armenian flag will fly over the Rhode Island State House as well as each of Rhode Island’s 39 City and Town Halls.

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Guest Contributor

Guest contributions to the Armenian Weekly are informative articles or press releases written and submitted by members of the community.
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