More Than 1300 Set for Tehlirian Pilgrimage

GLENDALE–Saturday is sure to become an historic day for the California-Armenia’s–because community members–in large numbers–heeded the call for a unique pilgrimage to Fresno honoring Armenian hero Soghomon Tehlirian on the anniversary of his heroic acting killing the perpetrator of the Armenian Genocide Talaat Pasha.

Community members from Orange County–Montebello–Pasadena–Glendale–La Crescenta–Burbank–Hollywood–North Hollywood and the San Fernando Valley will board buses on Saturday morning and caravan to Fresno for a special commemorative event at the Soghomon Tehlirian monument.

More than eight decades later–the Armenian-American community of California will pay homage to the great national hero and one of the moving forces behind Operation Nemesis. March 16 has been declared Tehlirian Memorial Day and a pilgrimage has been organized to his monument in Fresno to mark the hero’s legacy.

A large gathering will take place at the Tehlirian monument in Fresno–with Western Prelate Bishop Moushegh Mardirossian officiating a memorial mass–as the public places wreaths at the foot of the monument.

Noted Armenian activist Norair Elsayan will eulogize the hero and veteran ARF member Hagop Manjikian–who knew Tehlirian in person will keynote the event.

The cultural program of the ceremony will include the participation of Noune Avetissian and Setrak Hovanissian.

Following the ceremony–a luncheon will be held at the Fresno Armenian Center–hosted by the local Armenian Revolutionary Federation Tehlirian chapter. There the attendees will have an opportunity to meet with Fresno officials and community leaders.

A tour of important Armenian sites in Fresno–including the William Saroyan house and the David of Sassoun statue–is scheduled for the remainder of the day.

This pilgrimage is free of charge to participants–who are asked not to bring children under the three years. Attendees ages four to 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

The pilgrimage will begin at 6:30 a.m. on March 16–when buses from each Armenian center will caravan to Fresno–where the community will demonstrate that it has not forgotten the legacy of Tehlirian’s heroism and the Armenian Cause. For more information contact (818) 500-8081.

Tehlirian passed away in Fresno on May 23–1960. In 1969 the ARF Central Committee of California began plans to erect a monument at Tehlirian’s gravesite.

The monument was conceived by noted architect Harmig Hagopian–who diligently oversaw the project from conception to realization.

The open-winged eagle at the top of the monument was made by Garo Boghossian–who worked with Hagopian to complete the monument–which was inaugurated on August 31–1969.

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