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Glendale, CA — Organized by the Nor Serount (New Generation) Cultural Association, the Gaidz Youth Organization and the Armenian Athletic Association (Homenmen), with co-sponsorship by the City of Glendale, the 19th anniversary of Armenia’s independence was celebrated at Glendale’s Verdugo Park on Sunday, September 26, 2010.
Ever since its inception, the annual Armenian Independence Day Festival has grown into a wildly popular, multicultural tradition, showcasing: Armenian music, art, and cuisine, celebrating a spirit of community and shared history. This year, the tradition continued with thousands attending the event dedicated to the 17th anniversary of Armenia’s Independence Day.
The event commenced by the U.S. Marines Color Guard with the U.S. and Armenian national anthems being sung by the Glendale High School Choir, which consists of both Armenian and non-Armenian students. Presiding over the festival were Mr. Stepan Hovagimian from the Nor Serount Cultural Association and Ms. Subha Ravindhran from the KABC-7’s Eyewitness News team. Mr. Harry Unell delivered the welcoming remarks on behalf of the Armenian Independence Day Festival Committee. Glendale Mayor Ara Najarian welcomed the attendees on behalf of the City and conveyed the importance of an independent Armenia. Los Angeles City Council Member Paul Krikorian also expressed his jubilation on being able to celebrate the independence of Republic of Armenia.
In celebration of the 19th Anniversary of Armenian Independence Day, California State Assembly Member Mike Gatto presented the Nor Serount Cultural Association with a Resolution congratulating them on the achievements and contributions Nor Serount has made to the Armenian-American community in the 43rd Assembly District since the 1970s, particularly the annual Festival, which aims to educate all people on the Armenian culture and traditions.
“Nor Serount has been an important institution for the community for many years, and today we’re honoring the important contributions it has made to preserving culture,” said Assemblyman Gatto.
U.S. Congressman Adam Schiff, delivered a speech, saying: “I am proud to deliver speech in front of representatives of a great nation. Your people confronted a lot of difficulties on the way to independence, underwent genocide. In spite of all this, you reached the independence you longed for. I had the honor to work with many representatives of Armenian people and have raised a lot off issues at the American government connected with the economic blockade of Armenia by Turkey and Azerbaijan. I again congratulate the Armenian government and world-spread Armenians on the 19th anniversary of independence of Armenia.”
The highlight of the festival was the entertainment provided by various Armenian American singers, musicians, poets and dance troops who performed to the delight of the attendees.