FRESNO—The San Joaquin Valley community will once again gather on the steps of Fresno City Hall to raise the flags of the United States and Armenia in commemoration of the victims and survivors of the Armenian Genocide The commemoration will take place on Saturday April 21 from 10 a.m. to noon in front of City Hall.
The keynote speaker for this year’s program is Harut Sassounian, publisher of the California Courier. For over a generation, Sassounian’s weekly editorial have been a staple in Armenian journalism, blending together diligent research, thought-provoking commentary, and practical political advocacy. He is also an author, award-winning documentary producer, lecturer, and United Nations delegate on human rights.
“We are honored and excited to have Harut Sassounian come to Fresno and be part of this great Fresno tradition,” said Paul Jamushian, member of the Armenian National Committee of America—Central California.
Also speaking will be Congressional Representative Jim Costa (D-CA 16th District), Fresno Mayor Lee Brand, and Fresno County Supervisor Andreas Borgeas. Debbie Poochigian, former Fresno County Supervisor, will serve as the emcee.
The invocation will be given by the local clergy, including: Fr. Dajad Ashekian of Holy Trinity Armenian Apostolic Church, Fr. Yessai Bedros of St. Paul Armenian Church, Fr. Yeghia Hairabedian of St. Gregory Armenian Apostolic Church, Rev. Greg Haroutunian of First Armenian Presbyterian Church, and Nerses Balabanian of Pilgrim Armenian Congregational Church. Students of the Armenian Saturday School of the St. Paul Church will perform musical selections, and members of the Sassoon Chapter of the Homenetmen Scouts and the Fresno High School JROTC will serve as the color guard, accompanied by the Association Of The United States Army “Sounds Of Freedom” Military Concert Band.
The ANCA – Central California has organized the commemoration since 2004 when the flag of Armenia was first raised over Fresno City Hall in memory of 1.5 million martyrs of the Armenian Genocide.