GLENDALE–Under the auspices of the Consulate General of Republic of Armenia–a magnificent banquet to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Armenia’s Independence on November 20–2001 was organized by a Ladies’ committee made up of Armenian Los Angelinos–at the Glendale Hilton Hotel. More than 600 were in attendance.
Flora Tunayan a member of the organizing committee–opened the evening and Larry Zarian–the former Mayor of Glendale–was the master of ceremonies.
In his opening remarks–Larry Zarian spoke of the significance of the event and introduced the evening’s honored guests.
The Foreign Minister of Armenia Vartan Oskanian–Ambassador of Armenia to the US Arman Kirakosian–Armenia’s UN representative Movses Abelian–the Consul General of Armenia in Los Angeles Valery Mkrtoumian–Consul Generals of France–Lebanon and Croatia–Senator Jack Scott as well as other state officials and media representatives were at the special banquet.
ARF Bureau member Viken Hovsepian as well as representatives from the ARF Western US Central Executive–sister organizations–many ARF members and media representatives were present at the banquet.
Vartan Oskanian was the key-note speaker and spoke in English and Armenian. He spoke about the past decade’s political and economical developmen’s of Armenia–and he pointed out the advances the country has been making from year to year. He also said that Armenia’s difficulties must be addressed and resolved as soon as possible in order to decrease the rate of emigration.
He challenged the Diaspora to support the Armenian government and spoke of President Robert Kocharian very highly–saying that he is an honest man–and he does his best for the welfare of the country.
Oskanian presented the pros and cons of present-day Armenia equally–challenging everybody to pay attention to the positive results achieved–which include the political stability of Armenia and the de facto union of Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh.
During the banquet–an announcement was made–informing those present about the Memorandum of Understanding–which Oskanian and California Governor Gray Davis signed earlier that day.
The ceremonies Invocation and Benediction were read by Bishop Moushegh Mardirossian and Archbishop Vatche Hovsepian respectively.
Tomik Alexanian–the Chairman of Western America’s Hayastan Fund also spoke at the banquet. Later on that evening–Oskanian awarded Judge Armand Arabian the Mkhitar Gosh medal for his contributions to the community.