MONTEBELLO, Calif.—The San Gabriel Valley Armenian community will commemorate the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide by hosting its annual rally and vigil on Thursday, April 23, at 7 p.m. The event will take place at the Armenian Genocide Martyrs Monument in Bicknell Park, 901 Via San Clemente, Montebello, CA 90640. The San Gabriel Valley Armenian Community would like to invite all community members to join in commemorating the Armenian Genocide and paying respect to the victims who lost their lives in the atrocities.
The keynote address in English will be delivered by renowned Armenian-American attorney Mark Geragos, Esq. Geragos is a Los-Angeles based criminal defense attorney and long-time advocate for the Armenian community. Geragos was instrumental in bringing groundbreaking federal class action suits against New York Life Insurance and AXA for insurance policies issued to Armenians around the time of the Armenian Genocide and unpaid claims stemming from those policies.
The Armenian keynote address will be delivered by Dr. Hayg Oshagan, a professor of Communications at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. Prof. Oshagan’s expertise is in the effects of mass media on public opinion and the relationship that individuals form with mass media. He has been widely published in several acclaimed journals of communications and public opinion.
Montebello Mayor Jack Hadjinian will be presenting proclamations issued by several local cities in the past weeks including Carson, City of Industry, Downey, El Monte, Huntington Park, Montebello, and Pico Rivera. The Master of Ceremonies for the evening is Levon Kirakosian, Esq, a long-time member of the Armenian National Committee of America in the San Gabriel Valley.
In the spirit of survival and perseverance, musical performances will be staged by several acclaimed artists. Grammy-nominated artist, Sebu Simonian of Capital Cities, will be performing during the evening. Musician Ara Dabandjian and Element Band will be presenting their new takes on Armenian classics. Greg Hosharian from the Hosharian Brothers Band and “Ayline” Amirayan will round out the list of performers in what is sure to be an inspiring display of music.
“On the One Hundredth Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, as a community we remember the 1.5 million Armenian lives lost, reinstate our demands for recognition of the Genocide and begin the process of obtaining reparations for our collective losses,” said Kirakosian. “The centennial of the Armenian Genocide also presents an opportunity for us to pay tribute to the continuous strength of the Armenian people and honor the survivors who became the foundation of our Diasporan communities.”
The commemorative event will conclude with a traditional candlelight vigil and requiem service (hokehankist) at the base of the Armenian Genocide Martyrs Monument.
The event is sponsored by the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Dro Gomideh, Armenian National Committee of America – San Gabriel Valley Chapter, and Armenian Youth Federation Vahan Cardashian chapter, with the support and participation of all local community organizations including the Holy Cross Cathedral Board, Mesrobian Armenian School students, parents, staff and Board, Armenian Relief Society Ani and Nayiri Chapters, and Montebello HMEM.