Hundreds of Thousands Flock to Genocide Monument in Yerevan

YEREVAN (Armenpress)–Hundreds of thousands of Armenia’s from Armenia weathered a snow storm and marched uphill to the Dzidzernagapert Genocide Memorial to honor the 1.5 million victims of the Armenian Genocide. President Robert Kocharian, Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisian, Parliament Chairman Tigran Torosian, His Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenia’s and other top government officials and senior clergy were the first to remember the victims by visiting the Memorial and laying flowers. The heads of foreign diplomatic missions in Yerevan were the next to lay wreathes at the Memorial. In a statement to the nation, President Robert Kocharian said that a strong Armenian would guarantee the international recognition of the genocide. Each year on April 24 we remember the innocent victims of the Armenian Genocide, which was carried out in the Ottoman Turkey. The memories of this viscous crime live deep in our souls, said Kocharian Along with the Armenian people other peoples across the world also commemorate this day. The international community has realized that Genocide is a crime not only against a specific group, but also against humanity. The international community has also realized that denial and cover up of Genocide are equally criminal, continued Kocharian. The tragedy of the Genocide made the Armenian identity stronger, compelled us to come together, and enhanced the drive for independence and statehood, added Kocharian. As the embodiment of the Armenia’s centuries-old dream, the Republic of Armenia must prosper and develop. Strong, democratic and prosperous Armenia will be our response to those who planned, carried out and now deny the Genocide, concluded Kocharian. Leaders of Armenia’s main political parties also visited the genocide memorial. A state can not live by denying its past, said Armenian Revolutionary Federation Bureau chairman Hrant Markarian, adding Turkey must recognize the Armenian genocide as soon as possible for the sake of Turkeys future. For us, genocide recognition is, first of all, a matter of dignity and historical truth and also a matter of Armenia’s national security, Markarian told RFE/RL. Thousands of young Armenia’s marched across central Yerevan to the Genocide Memorial Monday evening in the traditional torchlight procession to remember the Genocide victims. The torchlight procession was organized by the Armenian Youth Federation and the ARF Nigol Aghbalian Student Association. The young people carried the Armenian tri-color, sang patriotic songs and chaned "recognition." Turkey has begun to realize that the time has come to recognize the crime its government committed against Armenia’s in 1915 and it is trying to veil its fears by displaying extreme nationalism and radicalism. We shall continue pressing not only for Turkeys acknowledgment of this horrific crime, but also for reparations and restitution to the Armenian people, said ARF political affairs director Giro Manoyan In Georgia. Armenian community members gathered in front of the Turkish Embassy in Tiblisi Monday evening to demand the recognition of the Genocide. Thousands of Armenia’s in Athens and Thessaloniki, the two biggest cities of Greece, rallied Sunday to remember the genocide victims and raise their voice of protest against the ongoing Turkish denial of this crime. In Moscow, the Russian Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church, the Union of Armenia’s in Russia and the World Armenian Congress laid wreaths at the Genocide memorial monument at the Holy Cross Cathedral, where memorial service was held. This followed a youth rally at the Turkish Embassy in Moscow demanding the recognition of the Genocide.

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