Celebration of A Great National Hero


MONTEBELLO–The Armenian community gathered on May 4 to mark the 35th anniversary of the passing of the great Armenian hero Misak Torlakian–with a wreath-laying ceremony at the hero’s grave. The remembrance of Misak Torlakian was organized by the San Gabriel Valley Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) Dro Gomideh.

Several community leaders were present for the memorial–including ARF Western region Central Committee representative Hovig Saliba–and CC member Vahe Bozoian–the Dro Gomideh executive and membership–friends and relatives of the hero–and more than 250 community members.

The observance began with a wreath laying ceremony by the Montebello Homenetmen’scouts and AYF Vahan Cardashian members–followed by a moment of silence for the heroes of Operation Nemesis. *

The spiritual leaders of the Holy Cross Armenian Cathedral proceeded by blessing Torlakian’s grave.

Tamar Dzadourian presented a message on behalf of the AYF Vahan Cardashian chapter: "The leadership that organized the Genocide of Armenia’s received their just punishment thanks to Operation Nemesis; the government that planned and perpetrated the Genocide–however–still remains unpunished," Tamar stressed. "We have an obligation to show to the world–by way of political and Hai Tahd activities–demonstrations–hunger strikes–preservation of identity and culture–and with other efforts–the determination and conviction of Armenia’s. Let us be guided by Unger Torlakian’s sacred inspirations of freedom and justice. . . "

Dro Gomideh member Seto Boyadjian–Esq. who stressed the important of role of the people in seeking recognition of the Armenian Genocide and working along side Hai Tahd efforts to restore justice–also spoke of the humble hero’s–Misak Torlakian’s kind and meek character.

Boyadjian continued–"We’re gathered in front of Misak Torlakian’s grave with feelings of pride and gratitude–gathered not to feel pain–but to be inspired by his memory. . . Gathered not to grieve–but to decide to continue that struggle initiated by Misak Torlankian’s generation."

"We gathered last week to remember the martyrs of the Armenian Genocide; we commemorated a genocide unpunished by the world–the recognition of which is undertaken by our Hai Tahd efforts in order to restore political justice. But we did not initiate these efforts; they began in 1919 in independent Armenia’s capitol of Yerevan during the 9th World Congress of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation that passed a verdict to punish those who carried out the Armenian Genocide."

"The series of assassinations–described as the "Special Operation" by the Tenth World Congress–was carried out under the overall leadership of the responsible body–assisted by the Central Committees of America–especially financially–and Constantinople–mostly providing manpower–as well as individual ARF members throughout various European cities. The series began–quite justly–with the assassination of Talaat Pasha–the Ottoman Empire’s former Minister of the Interior and the man most responsible for the Genocide. Six others–Jivanshir–Sayid Halim Pasha–Behaedin Shakir–Jemal Azmi–Jemal Pasha and Enver Pasha–fell one after the other in the years 1921-1922. This was Armenia’s Nuremberg gifted to Armenia’s and all of humanity by Misak Torlakian’s generation," reminded Boyadjian.

Boyadjian continued–saying that had Torlakian’s generation not existed–had specific efforts to restore justice not been implemented–how would we have had the courage to look into the eyes of humanity. Thanks to Torlakian and his colleagues–Armenia’s rediscovered honor and the ability to come before mankind with grounded conviction.

"We bow today in front of this grave with pride and humility. . . and reestablish our vow to continue–in the direction of Misak Torlakian and the struggle of the Armenian Case," concluded Boyadjian.

The ceremony ended with the singing of Verkerov Lee Chan Feda Yem.

* In 1921–Torlakian was sent by the ARF to execute the organizer of the 1920 massacre of Armenia’s in Baku–Governor Beyboud Khan Djivanshir. He succeeded.


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