Phoenix Armenian Community Gathers to Welcome Eternal Flame

Chairperson of the AYF 'Kedashen' Chapter Vahe Lepedjian speaks during a ceremony welcoming the Eternal Flame at the Phoenix Armenian Center

ARF Central Committee’s outreach group to distant communities was on hand as the Phoenix Armenian community prepared for the 2015 Armenian Genocide Centennial

PHOENIX, Ariz.—Over 150 community members gathered at the Phoenix Armenian Center to welcome the Eternal Flame on Dec. 5. A candlelight vigil was held in remembrance of the 1.5 million victims of the Armenian Genocide, with each candle having been lit by the Eternal Flame.

The event brought together community leaders and representatives from St. Apkar Armenian Church, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, the Armenian Youth Federation, the Armenian Relief Society, Armenian National Committee of America, Homenetmen, and various community groups and activists. Also in attendance were members of the Distant Chapters Committee from Los Angeles.

“We are honored to have hosted the eternal flame in our community,” said Vahe Lepedjian, Chairperson of the Armenian Youth Federation “Kedashen” Chapter. “As members of the Armenian Youth Federation, we realize it is our responsibility to foster the continued growth and progress of Armenians, not only in Phoenix, but worldwide.”

The Eternal Flame, which was lit in the Armenian Genocide memorial of Dzidzernagapert in Armenia on April 24, 2014, has been traveling through the United States and has finally made its way to the West Coast, visiting local Armenian centers along the way and achieving the ultimate goal of ending up in Western Armenia. The Eternal Flame will be departing the Western United States at the end of the month and will be visiting Boston and Canada.

“It was great to see how the Eternal flame brought the community together, the room was filled with emotions and hope for the future.” proclaimed Zaroug Baltajian, Chairperson of the ANCA Phoenix Chapter. “This event was just one way to depict that we will do our part in keeping the flame of our people alive for generation to come.”


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