It was a festive day in Glendale on Tuesday when members of the Glendale City Council, were joined by city and state officials, community members and residents for the official inauguration and designation of Artsakh Avenue, in the heart of the city’s downtown—a stretch of road formerly called Maryland Avenue from that extends from Harvard Street to Wilson Avenue.
Joining the celebration was State Senator Anthony Portantino and Robert Avetisyan, the Permanent Representative of Artsakh in the United States.
In June, the City Council voted to rename the portion of Maryland Avenue to Artsakh Avenue, through an effort that was launched by a group of Glendale citizens who wanted a street in Glendale to be named after Artsakh. The City Council acknowledged the effort and settled for that stretch, which more centrally located that the other options it was presented.
In his remarks during the inauguration ceremony, Glendale Mayor Zareh Sinanyan recalled that the Armenian community in Glendale has a long history and became more settled beginning in the 1970’s when families from around the world and other parts of the Los Angeles made Glendale their home.
“Armenians have poured their heart and soul, working hard in the development of Glendale. Today the city has become the heart of Armenian in the United States,” said Sinanyan.
The mayor said that the City Council overcame obstacles and finally was able to finally dedicate a place with an Armenian name that represents Armenian history, culture and heritage and recognize the contributions of Armenians to the city.
Sinanyan said the designation of Artsakh Avenue in Glendale is a symbol for all freedom-loving people and reflects the American belief in freedom and independence.
In his remarks during the ceremony, State Senator Anthony Portantino reflected on his most recent trip to Artsakh—his second—expressed his admiration for the people of Artsakh who, despite living under the daily threat of cease-fire violations, are serene and peace-loving people.
A highlight of the ceremony came when Portantino placed stones he brought from Artsakh at the foot of the Artsakh Avenue sign, forming a permanent connection between the people of Artsakh and Glendale.
Bringing greetings from the people of Artsakh was Avetisyan, who told the crowd that the news of the renaming of the street has created excitement and instilled pride throughout Artsakh Republic.
He said that the inauguration of Artsakh Avenue was a testament to the continued and decades-long cooperation between Artsakh and California, both houses of whose legislature have recognized the right to self-determination of the people of Artsakh.
Also welcoming the Artsakh Avenue designation were the remainder of City Council members, Paula Devine, Ara Najarian, Vartan Gharpetian and Vrej Aghajanian, each of whom expressed their excitement for the new avenue.