LAS VEGAS—The Las Vegas Armenian-American community commemorated the 101 anniversary of the Armenian Genocide by organizing events including candlelight vigil, church gathering, and “March for Justice.”
The first event was on Saturday, April 23, a candlelight vigil at the Sunset Park Armenian Genocide Memorial Monument with over 500 in attendance. The event paid tribute to the 1.5 million Genocide victims as well as the fallen soldiers during recent attacks by Azeri forces in Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. The event was also a celebration of life where, we the survivors, will always remember our ancestors and keep their memory alive.
The candlelight vigil commenced by Homenetmen Artsakh Chapter scouts’ flag presentation. Both Armenian and US National Anthems were performed by Gomidas Choir. Invocation was led by all the Las Vegas Armenian clergy. The program was Emceed by Hera Armenian Esq. A cultural program was performed by ARS Las Vegas Shoushi Chapter Verjine Koujakian Saturday School Students, Armenian Apostolic Church Saturday School Students, Armenian Dance Academy of Las Vegas and Armenian Dance School of Las Vegas. The event concluded by Matthew Karanian’s remarks followed by placing of carnations and candles at the monument’s “Eternal Circle”.
On Sunday, April 24, over 300 community members from all churches and organizations gathered at St. Garabed church. The commemoration started by the Homenetmen Artsakh chapter scouts’ flag presentation and Armenian and U.S. national anthems. The event was Emceed by Lenna Hovanessian Esq. A cultural program followed by a recitation by Anahit Pogosyan and a piano performance by Levon Aghadjanian.
The keynote speaker was Matthew Karanian Esq., who, eloquently, presented his travels to Western Armenia and shared a well documented slide presentation and photographs of Armenian churches and cultural monuments and their destruction and devastated conditions during the past century. At the end of his presentation, he was presented a Certificate of Commendation by Consul Armella Shakaryan from Consulate General of Republic of Armenia in Los Angeles and Honorary Consul or Armenia in Las Vegas, Adroushan Armenian.
Representatives of Senator Harry Reid, Senator Dean Heller, Congresswoman Dian Titus, Congressman Dr. Joe Heck and Congressman Cresent Hardy all took the stand and presented proclamations recognizing the Armenian Genocide and encouraging the US President to continue US and OSCE efforts for a peaceful and lasting cease-fire to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
Clark County Commissioner Larry Brown, Nevada Senator Mark Manendo, Nevada Assemblywoman Victoria Seaman, Assemblywoman Ellen Spiegel and Assemblyman Glenn Trowbridge as well as Judge Bita Yeager and Judge Janiece Marshall addressed the commemoration. Danny Tarkanian who is running for Nevada Congressional District 3 and William McCurdy II, a candidate for Nevada Assembly District 6, were also at the commemoration.
Throughout the event, a book sale was announced, which, the Armenian American Cultural Society had printed, related to the making of the Las Vegas Armenian Monument. The proceeds were designated to the families of the fallen soldiers of Nagorno-Karabakh.
The final event on Sunday, April 24 was a “March for Justice.” Three hundred Armenians marched from Town Square on Las Vegas Boulevard towards the landmark “Welcome to Las Vegas Sign” holding banners, U.S. and Armenian flags. The march was organized by ACYO and led by Homenetmen scout flag bearers.
Office of the Honorary Consul of The Republic of Armenia in Las Vegas would like to thank all who made these events successful:
St. Garabed Armenian Apostolic Church of Las Vegas
Armenian Apostolic Church of Las Vegas
Armenian Evangelical Church of Las Vegas
Armenian Church of Las Vegas, Evangelical Chapter
Armenian American Cultural Society of Las Vegas
Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA)
Armenian Relief Society Shoushi Chapter
Homenetmen General Athletic Union & Scouts – Artsakh Chapter
ARF Ishkhan Gomideh
AGBU- Las Vegas Chapter
S. D. Hunchagian Party – Haig Pejishgian Chapter
TREX Fraternity Las Vegas Chapter