ANCA-ER activists host array of Armenian Genocide remembrance events

WATERTOWN, Mass. Local chapters throughout the Armenian National Committee of America Eastern Region (ANCA-ER) hosted an impressive array of commemorative events and garnered unprecedented regional awareness for the 108th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide throughout the month of April, culminating on April 24 – the international day of justice for the Armenian Genocide

Activists from across the eastern region stressed the importance of this year’s commemoration in particular, as it was marked amidst a blockade on Artsakh, which has been ongoing since December 12, 2022. The commemorations, proclamations and events throughout the month of April have shed light on the continuation of genocide linking Ottoman Turkey’s treatment and annihilation of the Armenian people to Azerbaijan’s current genocidal behavior against Artsakh – home to indigenous Armenians for millenia. 

“On behalf of the ANCA-ER board and staff, I am incredibly touched by the work of the ANCA-ER activists,” expressed ANCA Eastern Region Board chair Dr. Ara Chalian. “Every year, our activists plan commemorative events to underscore the importance of raising awareness of the internationally recognized Armenian Genocide; but this year, they went even further to sound the alarm on the humanitarian disaster impacting the Armenians in Artsakh as we speak. Our activists empowered their fellow Armenians in the homeland by garnering the support of federal, state and city-level governments who issued proclamations, gave speeches, made commitments, statements for the congressional record, hosted educational events, community outreach and so many more initiatives – initiatives that are heartfelt and impactful,” he concluded. 

Forty-two proclamations were issued from states such as Illinois (8), Massachusetts (8), Michigan (9), New Hampshire (4), New Jersey (3), New York (1), North Carolina (3), Rhode Island (5) and Ohio (1). 

ANC of New York and Albany activists joined State Senator Andrew Gounardes at the New York State Capitol to witness a legislative resolution marking April 24, 2023, as Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day in the State of New York. Pictured left to right: Sonia Sukljian, Betty Minassian, Niree Kaprielian, Antranig Karageozian, New York State Senator Gounardes, Vincent Nasri, Ani Tchaghlasian, Nairi Diratsouian

On the heels of US recognition of the Armenian Genocide by legislative and executive branches, as well as the 50 US states, these proclamations are a testament to the importance of creating awareness of the Armenian Genocide and the current danger facing the Armenian nation today.

Thanks to the efforts of the ANC of Granite City, the Granite City City Council issued a proclamation on April 18, 2023, establishing a friendship city between Granite City, Illinois and Ashan, Republic of Artsakh. Pictured left to right: Steve Hagopian, Mayor of Granite City Mike Parkinson, Stephen Hagopian and Der Taniel Manjikian.

Of the 42 proclamations, 35 were signed by cities: Warren, Birmingham City, Sterling Heights, Farmington Hills, Southfield, Livonia, Detroit, Hazel Park, North Chicago, Lincolnwood, Waukegan, Hoffman Estates, Glenview, Niles, Crystal Lake, Granite City, Boroughs of Fort Lee and Ridgefield, Chelmsford, Andover, Lowell, Billerica, Dracut, Methuen, North Andover, Haverhill, Windham, Salem, Manchester, Nashua, Asheville, Fayetteville, Xenia, North Providence and Cranston. Three were signed by governors of the states of Michigan, North Carolina and Rhode Island. Three were signed by state bodies in the New York State Senate and Rhode Island State House of Representatives and Senate. 

Armenian National Committee of America Honoree Jasper Bedrossian speaks at Cranston, Rhode Island Armenian Genocide Commemoration and Flag Raising about his parents, Agape and Hampartsum Bedrossians who were the children of survivors of the Armenian Genocide.

Five of the region’s ANCs also hosted flag raisings, including the ANC of Illinois’ flag raisings in North Chicago and Waukegan, the ANC of New Jersey’s flag raisings in the Borough of Fort Lee, and the ANC of Rhode Island’s flag raisings in North Providence and Cranston. The ANC of Merrimack Valley hosted its third annual flag raising in Lowell (where the inaugural flag raising took place several years ago), Andover, Billerica, Chelmsford, Dracut, Methuen, North Andover, Haverhill and Westford with special guests including Congresswoman Lori Trahan, as well as commemorative flag raisings in coordination with the ANC of New Hampshire in Windham, Salem, Manchester and Nashua. 

Armenian Genocide Commemoration event organized by the ANC of New Jersey in Montvale, New Jersey.

In addition to flag raisings and proclamations, activists with the ANC of Granite City secured a Friendship City agreement between Granite City, Illinois and Ashan, a city in the Republic of Artsakh. The proclamation, spearheaded by Mayor Michael Parkinson, sets the foundation for long-term cooperation between the two cities to exchange ideas about the future of Artsakh. 

Armenian Genocide informational display organized in the Bar Harbor Library in Bar Harbor, Maine, spearheaded by the ANC of Maine.

Along the lines of education and cultural awareness, activists from the ANCs of Maine and Michigan created a display in the Bar Harbor Library in Maine and Farmington Community Library to educate the community about the Armenian Genocide with an emphasis on the vital role that Ambassador Henry Morgenthau played in the US response during the Armenian Genocide. 

ANC of Michigan worked with local libraries, such as the Farmington Community Library, in the Metro Detroit area to set up book displays about the Armenian Genocide during the month of April.

“I get the pleasure of working alongside the activists throughout the ANCA-ER on a daily basis and am in awe of their commitment and dedication,” said ANCA-ER Legislative and Community Affairs director Nairi Diratsouian. “The survival of the Armenian nation hangs in the balance as we watch the events of genocide unfold right before our very eyes in Artsakh. Together as a region, we commemorated the events of the past and laid a foundation for the future – a future in which no injustice against the Armenian nation will go unpunished,” she concluded.

The local chapters of the ANCA-ER remain dedicated to advocating for Artsakh and Armenia and furthering Armenian Genocide education to ensure that the cycle of violence and the perpetuation of genocide does not continue.

The ANCA-ER thanks its sponsors, co-sponsors, advocates and volunteers for their continued support and dedication to the cause of furthering Hai Tahd and raising awareness for Armenian issues in the United States and abroad.

ANCA-Eastern Region
The Armenian National Committee of America Eastern Region is part of the largest and most influential Armenian American grassroots organization, the ANCA. Working in coordination with the ANCA in Washington, DC, and a network of chapters and supporters throughout the Eastern United States, the ANCA-ER actively advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues.

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