The Social Democrat Hunchakian Gaidz Youth Organization (GYO) hosted a silent candlelight vigil Friday, April 23, 2021 to commemorate the 106th anniversary of the start of the Armenian Genocide.

As somber traditional music played in the background, the vigil commenced with community members of Armenian and non-Armenian decent placing flowers at the foot of the Pasadena Armenian Genocide Memorial, located in Pasadena’s Memorial Park.

The aim of the candlelight vigil as conveyed by GYO co-Chair Alison Ghafari was to commemorate not only those martyrs who perished during the Armenian Genocide, but also those who were martyred through pogroms prior to the Armenian Genocide, as well as those martyred during the Artsakh liberation movement and the second Artsakh war.

“We are also silently protesting for the Armenian prisoners of war, who are currently being held hostage by Azerbaijan in violation of the signed ceasefire agreement, and pray they are returned to their homeland safe and sound,” Ghafari said.

“The second Artsakh war has added on to the intergenerational strain Armenians throughout the world feel, Armenians are continuously traumatized because the Genocide is not only continuously denied, but attempts at genocide are continuously occurring against Armenians. As they say: ‘A genocide denied, is genocide repeated.’” Ghafari concluded.

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