SACRAMENTO, CA – Board Members of the Armenian Council of America, along with the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church of North America, and members of various Armenian-American organizations participated in the Annual Armenian Genocide Commemoration Ceremony in the State Capitol.

The ceremony led by Majority Leader Charles Calderon (D-Montebello), Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles), Katcho Atchadjian (R-San Luis Obispo), and Anthony Portantino (D-Pasadena), was held on April 14.

To mark the special occasion, at the request of Assemblyman Gatto, His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, Primate of the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church, offered the Invocation at the beginning of the Assembly’s commemoration ceremony.

“Today we pray especially for the victims of the first Genocide of the 20th century premeditated and executed by the Ottoman Turks in 1915,” said Archbishop Derderian. “The recognition of the Armenian Genocide by the State of California Assembly encourages the Armenian community as we continue to pay homage to the memory of the victims. Above all, the noble act gives us the spiritual strength to hold firm the essence of our Christian faith as devoted citizens of this blessed country of the United States of America.”

During the session, AJR 7, unanimously passed, marking the week of April 18 to 24, 2011 as “California Week of Remembrance for the Armenian Genocide of 1915-1923.” The joint resolutions urge Congress and the President to observe the week of remembrance.

“It is truly commendable of the California Legislature to acknowledge the importance and gravity of the Armenian Genocide and the weight it carries for their Armenian-American constituency as well as Armenians world-wide,” said Sevak Khatchadourian, Board Member of the ACA. “It is my hope, that the Federal government, as well as the Turkish government will come to terms with historical reality, and finally recognize the Armenian Genocide.

The ACA delegation, along with other Armenian-American community leaders met with various legislators to discuss issues of concern to the community, including Senator Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto), SenatorTom Berryhill (R-Modesto ), Assembly Majority Leader Charles Calderon, Assemblyman Mike Gatto, Katcho Atchadjian, and Anthony Portantino.

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