AYF and ANC NY/NJ chapters host Candlelight Vigil and March for Justice

AYF Manhattan “Moush,” New York “Hyortik” and New Jersey “Arsen” chapters, along with the ANCs of New York and New Jersey, lead march for justice

On April 24, 2024, the New York and New Jersey communities came together for a divine liturgy under the auspices of H.E. Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielian. Following the service, attendees participated in a candlelight vigil and march for justice led by the AYF Manhattan “Moush,” New York “Hyortik” and New Jersey “Arsen” chapters, along with the ANCs of New York and New Jersey. 

The vigil began with the blessing of madagh, followed by a program including speeches, songs and recitations. Garine Koushagjian delivered remarks on behalf of the NJ “Arsen” Hai Tahd committee, drawing parallels between the 1915 Genocide and the recent Artsakh genocide, with the significant difference being that the recent genocide is reversible – through a focus on accountability and the safe and dignified return of Armenians to Artsakh. 

Candlelight vigil marking the 1915 Genocide and the recent Artsakh genocide

“But we must understand that each of us, within the diaspora and the homeland, have inherited this sacred responsibility – to keep the conversations alive, to remind ourselves and the world that our commitment to our history has a real impact on our present and future. We reject the notion that has been circulating by enemies – external and internal – to ‘shed fictional historical narratives.’ No matter the obstacle, we vow to continue demanding justice, accountability, reparations and restitution for every crime committed against our nation and the return of our people to their rightful homeland,” Koushagjian said. 

Soseh Hovasapian, chair of the Manhattan “Moush” chapter, delivered a message about the power of unifying the Armenian people and the continued struggle for a free, united and independent Armenia. The cultural portion of the program featured NJ “Arsen” Junior Executive member Sarhad Melkonian reciting a timely poem “Anbadaskhan Hartsuh” by Kevork Emin. Arya Balian of the Manhattan “Moush” chapter captured the audience with an iteration of “Dle Yaman.” Chantelle Nasri provided closing remarks on behalf of the ANCs of NY/NJ. She called on those in attendance to get involved in civic activism and provided an overview of current measures in Congress that the community can rally behind.

March through Times Square led by the New York and New Jersey AYF and ANC chapters

Before marching to Times Square with flags and signs, attendees gathered in a reflective moment of silence to honor the souls of fallen heroes and soldiers. Afterwards, attendees were encouraged to trace back their roots on map handouts provided by the AYF.

Hosting the vigil on April 24 served as a meaningful way to mobilize the New York and New Jersey communities to commemorate the Armenian Genocide and recent Artsakh genocide and to remind each other of opportunities to take action through the national, regional and local Armenian National Committees.

Guest Contributor

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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