GLENVIEW, Ill. – The Chicago Armenian community held a series of events honoring the victims of the Armenian Genocide on Sunday, April 28th, 2019 at the All Saints Community Center in Glenview, IL.
The day began with a special Divine Liturgy dedicated to the memory of the martyred saints of the Armenian Genocide officiated by Very Reverend Ghevont Pentezian. Upon conclusion of the services, a Homenetmen scout honor guard distributed flowers to parishioners as they exited the sanctuary in a solemn procession towards the Armenian Martyrs Monument to pay their respects.
Following the laying of flowers at the monument, the crowd of over 200 filed into Shahnasarian Hall for a commemorative program organized by the Armenian National Committee of Illinois (ANC-IL). ANC Chair Maral Abrahamian opened the program by asking those in attendance to rise for a moment of silence in remembrance of the 1.5 million Armenian martyrs.
In her introductory remarks, Abrahamian presented a proclamation from newly-elected Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzger declaring April 24, 2019 as Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day and discussed various Hai Tahd achievements including the recent recognition of the Armenian Genocide by the state of Alabama, making it the 49th state to do so.
Following her remarks, Abrahamian invited Very Reverend Pentezian to the podium, who spoke about how during the last 104 years Armenians have overcome many of the challenges resulting from the Armenian Genocide, and how Armenians need to continue to sacrifice for their community and their nation, following the example set by our martyred saints.
Areni Artinian, speaking on behalf of the Armenian Youth Federation (AYF) “Ararat” Chapter, stated that Armenia’s youth hold the pen that will write history, and called on them to remain strong and vigilant. She concluded her remarks with the words of AYF founder Karekin Nejdeh, stating “One day, the Armenians will have to forgive the Turks – but not by kneeling before them, but having them kneel before US!”
The final speaker of the day was Paruir Sarkisian, representing the honorary consulate of Armenia in Chicago. Sarkisian also directed his message to the youth, urging them to always remember their history and that, the more Armenians work together, the stronger they will become and the easier it will be to solve our nation’s challenges. He closed his comments with a quote from Baryur Sevag’s poem Keech Enk, Payts Hai Enk.
Very Reverend Pentezian blessed a madagh memorial meal, which was prepared by the All Saints Church Ladies Guild.
A joint badarak was scheduled to be held at All Saints Church on Saturday, April 27th in conjunction with the clergy and parishioners from seven other Armenian churches from northern Illinois and Wisconsin. But it was cancelled due to a spring snowstorm.