On the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a motion by Mayor Michael D. Antonovich and Supervisor Hilda L. Solis to send a letter, signed by all five supervisors, to President Obama requesting that he recognize the atrocities against the Armenian people in 1915 as a genocide and petition the Turkish government to come to terms with their predecessors recognize the 1915 Armenian genocide.

Moving to “honor the 1.5 million victims,” and proclaiming April 24 as the “Day of Remembrance for the Armenian Genocide of 1915-1923” Antonovich told his colleagues, “23 nations have officially recognized what Pope Francis has called ‘the first genocide of the 20th century. Yet, the President of the United States refuses to refer to the mass killings of Armenians as genocide. It is necessary, and indeed a duty to remember that this was genocide, it’s time that we also proclaim it a genocide.”

Supervisor Hilda Solis told her colleagues that “any assault on humanity is an assault on all of us.”

The Board also approved a genocide memorial plaque to be placed in Grand Park where a month-long interactive public art display to commemorate the centennial of the Armenian Genocide through public art was unveiled on Saturday, April 25, 2015.

Conceived by artists Ara Oshagan, Levon Parian and architect Vahagn Thomasian, “iwitness” incorporates photography and architecture to educate and inform a new generation about the Genocide. The display consists of massive portraits of eyewitness survivors telling the story from the frontlines — people who were there — most of whom are Southern California residents who immigrated here to reestablish their lives.

“This remarkable memorial honors the 1.5 million victims of the Armenian Genocide and tells the personal stories of survivors — first-hand eyewitnesses to one of the worst atrocities of the 20th century,” said LA County Mayor Antonovich. “In Los Angeles County, home to the largest population of Armenians in the nation, we must ensure that those who died are never forgotten by consistently remembering — and openly condemning — the atrocities committed against the Armenians. This plaque in Grand Park will serve as a reminder and a memorial for the 1.5 million Armenians who died, along with the survivors and their families.”

The Armenian Council of America is a grassroots organization dedicated to work with all political leaders, offering Armenian related news, analysis and resources for policymakers, media, students and activists, advocating issues important to Armenian Americans. The Armenian Council of America aims to strengthen U.S. – Armenia and U.S. – Nagorno Karabakh ties, the development of programs promoting sustainable economic growth and good governance in Armenia, while promoting the values and responsibilities of global citizenship.

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