Mrs. Zovig Koroghlian, the evening’s Mistress of Ceremonies, presented Mr. Vahan Khodanian, who delivered the Armenian Council of America’s (ACA) message, paying homage to the 20 heroic Martyrs who fought for democracy, liberty and equality for all mankind. ACA Chairman Mr. Sevak Khatchadorian, introduced the descendants of the 20 Martyrs, along with local elected officials who took part in the event. A short video montage of Rep. Adam Schiff (D- Burbank) reading the name’s of the Genocide victims on the House floor, including those of the 20 Armenian Martyrs was displayed. Immediately following the video, Mr. Khatchadorian presented Congressman Schiff with the “Stephan Sapah-Gulian Integrity Award” for his continued leadership towards championing causes important to the Armenian American Community.
Congressman Schiff, after receiving a standing ovation, expressed his deep gratitude for the prestigious award. “The Twenty Hunchakian Martyrs who died a century ago, understood the importance of what they were fighting for, had the courage to take on a corrupt and murderous dictatorship, and that their ideals will go on and help birth a great nation,” said Schiff. He also stated that he is proud to represent his Armenian-American constituents in Congress, and promised to double his efforts for the recognition of the Armenian Genocide.
Other speakers included Social Democrat Hunchakian Party Central Committee Chairman Mr. Hagop Dikranian, political activist from the Republic of Armenia Mr. Sarkis Hatspanian, His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian Primate of the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church and Chairman of the Social Democrat Hunchakian Party Executive Committee Western USA Region Mr. Gabriel Moloyan.
An artistic program of Armenian national and patriotic songs and poems were performed with the participation of the “Sipan” Choir conducted by Mr. Henrik Annasian, Nor Serount Cultural Association’s dance troupe, well known poetry reciter Noune Avedissian and talented singers Salpi Mayilian, Arno Mkrtchyan and Harut Hagopian who elated the audience with inspiring and emotional songs and poems of remembrance, struggle and triumph for the Armenian nation.