LOS ANGLES, CA – In commemoration of the 99th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, the Armenian Council of America joined about 40 members from various Armenian political, cultural and religious organizations for the annual City of Los Angeles Armenian Genocide commemoration at the City Council chambers in City Hall.
In attendance were representatives from the office of the Consul General of Armenia, as well as the Diocese and Prelacy, Armenian Assembly of America, along with ACA Board Members Jirair Tossounian and Krikor Moloyan and dozens of community leaders, activists, clergymen and philanthropists.
“As a native Angeleno, I’m honored that the LA City Council pays tribute to the victims and survivors of the Armenian Genocide each and every year through these annual ceremonies,” said Tossounian. “As we approach the centennial commemoration of the Genocide, I’d like to thank the City of LA for their continued efforts in publicizing this event as more and more people who have not had the opportunity to learn about the Genocide are educated about this tragedy promoting a community of peace and humanity.”
A slide show was presented highlighting the survivors of the Genocide who settled in the United States and the relief efforts taken by the U.S., particularly in city of Los Angeles to help the victims of the Armenian Genocide.
Among the Near Eastern Relief efforts discussed was a campaign by child actor Jackie Coogan, where he led an effort to enlist the children of American to help the children of Armenia. Also a part of the Near East Relief was the Golden Dinner Rule of the entertainment community in Hollywood where lavish dinners were skipped in order to raise funds for the Armenians who were being persecuted during the Genocide. “These were all philanthropic efforts to save a nation … thanks to the Near East Relief,” said Councilmember Paul Krekorian. “As we recognize and remember the Genocide, it’s important to recognize the victory of the Armenian Genocide,” he added.
Representing the Little Armenia community of East Hollywood, Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell shared his personal experience as a descendant of a Native American tribe who were uprooted and violently displaced from their native homeland. “We have an obligation to do all we can that tragedies don’t happen again,” said O’Farrell. “I want to commend the Armenian community for keeping the memory alive.”
Genocide survivors Joseph and Knar Manjikian donated six volumes of memoirs from survivors as a part of the Genocide Library, which they published, to the Los Angeles City Library. Joseph Manjikian shared his experience as a Genocide survivor and reiterated the importance of preventing future genocides by acknowledging the past.
Councilmember Blumenfield echoed the sentiments of Councilmember O’Ferrill and talked about his experience on a recent trip to Armenia and what a big impression it left on him as Councilmember Paul Koretz spoke about the ongoing denial of the Genocide stating that there isn’t the same anger projected towards Germany because the next generations have acknowledged the Holocaust. “It’s hard for me to understand why Turkey has not taken those steps,” said Koretz. “It’s important to continue to fight to have the Genocide acknowledged by the entire world, including Turkey so this tragedy is not repeated.”
Encouraging the Armenian community to continue educating the public about the Genocide, Councilmember Jose Huizar thanked those in attendance for providing an opportunity to teach others about the tragedy as Councilmember Nury Martinez announced that she is proud to represent the growing Armenian community in her district in Sun valley.