Mitch-OFarrellLos Angeles City Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell introduced a motion in the Los Angeles City Council this week, directing the Los Angeles Department of Transportation to name the “Little Armenia” intersection of Hollywood Blvd and Western Ave ‘Armenian Genocide Memorial Square’ and to erect memorial signs in the area. The item will return to council for a vote in the next couple of weeks.

The following is the motion as introduced:

The City of Los Angeles is home to one of the largest communities of the Armenian Diaspora. The vast Armenian Diaspora can be primarily attributed to the Armenian Genocide in 1915, perpetrated by Ottoman Turkey, during which one and a half million Armenians were massacred and many more forced to flee their ancestral homeland.

One hundred years later, there is still no recognition of these historical facts by the Turkish government, the successor state of the Ottoman Empire. The Armenian community in Los Angeles works tirelessly to achieve this recognition from the Turkish government and from governments throughout the world in order to raise awareness of this heinous crime against humanity.

April 24th, 2015 marks the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. Every year, Armenian communities in Southern California organize events to raise awareness of the Genocide and to honor those who lost their lives in 1915. The largest of these events is an annual march by thousands of people, which takes place in Little Armenia. This year, for the 100th year without recognition, the march will have a different design and is expected to draw the largest turnout to date. This year’s event is called “The March for Justice.” It will begin in Little Armenia and end six miles away at the Turkish Consulate. This annual march raises awareness for not only the Armenian Genocide, but also promotes the importance of working together to prevent genocides elsewhere in the world.

The centennial of the Armenian Genocide marks 100 years of the Armenian community living without recognition of their past. Considering that the march takes place in Little Armenia, the symbolism of naming a square in honor of Armenian Genocide Remembrance would be overwhelmingly appreciated by the Armenian community in Los Angeles and throughout the world. Little Armenia, located in the 13th Council District, is the only designated Armenian neighborhood in the nation; and naming a square, in Little Armenia, that honors the one and half million lives lost 100 years ago would be cherished by all Armenians. The City can assist in creating this tangible space of commemoration for a community that deserves a physical landmark in honor of their continued struggle.

I THEREFORE MOVE that the intersection at Hollywood Boulevard and Western Avenue be named as “Armenian Genocide Memorial Square” and that the Department of Transportation be directed to erect permanent ceremonial sign(s) to this effect at this location.

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