Survivor stories, revolutionary songs the highlights of AYF-led commemoration in Detroit

Detroit, April 23, 2022 (Photo: Georgi Bargamian)

DETROIT, Mich. — On the eve of the 107th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, dozens of members of the Detroit Armenian community gathered for a commemoration led by the AYF Detroit “Kopernik Tandourjian” Chapter.

The community heard from several AYF members, including Tro Hatsakordzian, Kevork Mardoyan and Kristen Bagdasarian, each of whom shared the stories of their families that escaped the massacres carried out by the Turkish Ottoman Empire, as well as the impact of the current atrocities carried out by Azerbaijan and the threat our nation faces as the world remains silent to the ongoing annihilation of the Armenian people.

Community leaders Talar Bagdasarian, Raffi Ourlian and Dzovinar Hatsakordzian each shared an impactful message reflecting the hard work and accomplishments of the Armenian community, as well as the difficult road toward reparations that lies ahead. 

Detroit, April 23, 2022 (Photo: Georgi Bargamian)

Michigan State Representative Mari Manoogian (D) spoke on the importance of remaining active in the US government to continue working toward a promising future for the Armenian nation.

Shant Massoyan performed various revolutionary songs — an opportunity for the group to acknowledge and celebrate the courage and strength of Armenian freedom fighters.

Shant Massoyan, April 23, 2022 (Photo: Georgi Bargamian)

As the commemoration came to a close, community members placed flowers at the feet of the Gomidas statue to pay their respects to all Armenian Genocide martyrs. It was especially moving to see adults carrying their young children during this time as it is the responsibility of parents and elders in the community to keep the torch lit and pass on the spirit and heritage of the Armenian people to future generations. It was a reminder that surviving means raising Armenian children, speaking Armenian and existing as an Armenian.

Community members place flowers at the feet of the Gomidas statue in Detroit, April 23, 2022 (Photo: Georgi Bargamian)
Araxie Tossounian

Araxie Tossounian

Araxie Tossounian is an active member of her local Armenian community in Novi, Michigan. She is a proud alumna of the AYF and a member of the Detroit Azadamard ARF Chapter. Araxie is a mental health professional with a deep love for poetry.

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