COSTA MESA, Calif.—2015 marks the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide of 1915 where 1.5 million innocent Armenian men, women, and children were brutally murdered in a centrally planned and systematically executed plan by the Ottoman Turkish government to exterminate the Armenian people. Every year the Armenian community of Orange County gathers to commemorate this solemn day remembering the victims and celebrating the survival of a nation.
This year the Centennial Armenian Genocide Memorial Committee (CAGMC) of St. Mary Armenian Apostolic Church under the auspices of the Armenian Church Western Diocese and with the support from various Armenian organizations, has organized the special commemorative events on March 8, beginning with the dedication and consecration of the newly constructed Genocide Centennial Monument at St. Mary Armenian Church at 148 22nd Street in Costa Mesa at 12:30 p.m. by Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, Primate of Western Diocese, immediately following the Celebration of Divine Liturgy.
Later that same day the commemoration event will take place at 4 p.m. at Robert B. Moore Theater on the campus of Orange Coast Community College (OCC) 2701 Fairview Road, Costa Mesa, Calif. The Armenian community of Orange County with all of its organizations, churches, the Armenian school, community members and friends will gather to once again honor the memory of the victims of the first genocide of the 20th century while renewing its commitment to continue the struggle for justice.
His eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian will conduct the Invocation and Benediction at the centennial featuring Armenian folk music and poetry, an orchestra conducted by Maestro Mikael Avetisyan, and messages by the CAGMC, Knights of Vartan, and the ANCA. Special performances by the Armenian Folk Ensemble, Los Angeles Armenian Society Choir, Glendale Chamber Orchestra and the ISM Youth Choir will highlight the evening along with musical performances by Elina Ohannessian, Emily Simonian, Ani Keropian and Ara Dakessian, and special guest Sebu Simonian of Capital Cities.
The Armenian community of Orange County having adopted the motto “unity is our strength” a few years ago continues working together on important issues such as the Armenian Genocide, which has impacted every individual of Armenian descent, many of whom cannot trace their ancestry beyond 1915.
“We invite all of our community members, family and friends, Armenians and non-Armenians alike to join us on March 8th to commemorate and honor, create awareness and educate, and renew our commitment and activate our peers to work towards recognition and reparations for the Armenian Genocide,” a press statement from the community leadership said.
Admission to the March 8 event is free. For more information, call St. Mary Armenian Church at 949-650-8367 or visit their website.
The participating organizations are St. Mary Armenian Church, St. Mary Parish Council, St. Mary Ladies Society, St. Mary Hovsepian Choir, St. Mary Cultural Committee, St. Mary ACYO, St. Mary Sunday School, Armenian Church Western Diocese, Forty Martyrs Armenian Church, AGM Armenian School, ANCA Orange County, Armenian Community Center of OC, ARF Armen Karo Gomideh, ARS Karni, ARS Sevan, AYF Ashod Yergat & Aghpiur Serop Junior chapters, AGBU Orange County, Knights of Vartan, Daughters of Vartan, Hamazkayin Siamanto, Homenetmen Sardarabad, UCI Armenian Students Association, OC Armenian Professional Society, OC Guild of Ararat Home, Armenian and Christian Fellowship of OC.