FRESNO, Calif.—Bruce Janigian of the American University of Armenia will be the keynote speaker for the Central Valley’s commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Armenia Genocide on April 24. The event begins at 7 p.m. and will take place in the sanctuary of the St. Paul Armenian Apostolic Church (3767 N. First Street, Fresno). To accommodate the large number of people attending the commemoration, viewing screens will be installed in the church’s social hall and courtyard; overflow parking will be available at the nearby Pilgrim Armenian Congregational Church (3673 N. First Street, Fresno).
Janigian is an international attorney whose expertise includes international trade and investment as well as government and public policy matters. He has served on the Board of Trustees of the American University of Armenia Corporation and as the university’s Vice President for Development and Government Relations.
Along with marking the centennial of the Armenian Genocide, this year’s commemoration will be the first to recognize the sainthood of the 1.5 million Armenians murdered at the hands of the Ottoman Young Turk regime during the period 1915-1923. On April 23, the Armenian Apostolic Church will canonize the victims, who have already been acknowledged as martyrs for their faith. The ceremony will observe a moment of silence at exactly 7:15 p.m., or 19:15 military time, to correspond to the year that the Turkish government began their campaign of ethnic cleansing.
Dr. Matthew Jendian, Professor of Sociology at Fresno State, will serve as the evening’s master of ceremonies. Included in the program are the Mazmanian family, who will be performing traditional Armenian music, the Homenetmen Scouts, and the students of the Charlie Keyan Armenian Community School.
The commemoration is organized by the St. Paul Armenian Apostolic Church, the Holy Trinity Armenian Apostolic Church, First Armenian Presbyterian Church, Pilgrim Armenian Congregational Church, St. Gregory’s Armenian Apostolic Church (Fowler), St. Mary’s Armenian Apostolic Church (Yettem), and Sts. Sahag-Mesrob Armenian Apostolic Church (Reedley). As is the tradition, the site of the Genocide’s remembrance rotates each year among the valley’s Armenian churches.
The commemoration is part of a year-long series of events promoted by the Armenian Genocide Centennial—Fresno Committee, which includes representatives from the various Armenian religious, educational, social, and political organizations of the Central Valley. For more information, please visit the AGC—Fresno website at www.agcfresno.org and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/agcfresno.