“Little Armenia” in East Hollywood Unveiled

LOS ANGELES–Sunday–November 12–at noon a large crowd gathered around the St. Garabed Church in Hollywood to celebrate the naming of the area between Santa Monica–Hollywood and Vermont–in Los Angeles–as Little Armenia. The area was named such by a decision of the Los Angeles City Council.

In his speech–master of ceremonies Karekin Khanjian–member of the Armenian National Committee Hollywood chapter–thanked the individuals present who worked to have the area named "Little Armenia." Among those thanked were the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Karekin Njdeh chapter–the Armenian Relief Society Mayr chapter–the Hollywood Homenetmen chapter–the Hollywood Hamazkayin chapter–the administration of Rose and Alex Pilibos Armenian school–the Board of Trustees of the St. Garabed Armenian church–Western Prelate Bishop Moushegh Mardirossian–the public officials who helped in the process and all those present. Khanjian especially thanked Baidzar Tovmassian for her work on the project.

Among the speakers were Los Angeles City Councilwoman Jackie Goldberg–who in her speech stated that "when I proposed naming the area Little Armenia–despite a few objections–I envisioned that above giving a sense of pride to the residents in the area–this venture will serve as a bridge to bring the community together–and also establish a bond between the Armenian-American community and communities such as the Chinese-American–Korean-American–Latin-American and African-American which live in Los Angeles. This will serve as a means to bring together the large Armenian population which lives in the area together with the non-Armenia’s living in the area."

Reverend Vicken Vassilian thanked everyone on the behalf of Prelate Moushegh Mardirossian and congratulated all those who dedicated themselves to seeing that the project was a success.

Armen Melkonian–Armenian Counsel General to Los Angeles–said that it is a special moment when you see the name of your native land appear on a placard renaming a part of Los Angeles. This is testimony to the fact that the Armenian community is strong–willing and able to represent itself in the this great society. "This brings us great pride–however it also brings with it greater responsibilities. The Armenia’s living in this area–which after today will be known as "Little Armenia" have the responsibility of keeping that name clean and respectable. Armenia’s in the area have the responsibility of letting those people who live in surrounding areas know that they are ideal citizens and praiseworthy individuals. This must become common knowledge to us all and our collective responsibility." Melkonian then went on to thank all those organizations and public officials who made "Little Armenia" possible–most notably Jackie Goldberg.

After his speech Melkonian presented the letter of Yerevan mayor Albert Bazeyan which thanked Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan for his collaboration on the project.

State Assemblyman Scott Wildman (D-43) congratulated the Armenian community on the birth of Little Armenia. "In the last four years I have had the honor and privilege of representing a large Armenian-American population in the California Assembly–which encompassed not only the Armenia’s living in the new "Little Armenia" but also–Armenia’s living in Glendale and East Hollywood. Little Armenia is a symbol of the cultural worth this community has brought to Los Angeles and the state of California as a whole."

After the official part of the ceremony–the program was concluded with music by Armenian singer Harout Pamboukjian.

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