GLENDALE—On November 18 hundreds of community members and representatives gathered at the Homenetmen Glendale “Ararat” chapter’s Baghdasarian-Shahinian hall to celebrate the third annual “Homenetmen Day” ceremony organized by the Homenetmen Wester United States Regional Executive.
Guests included Armenian Revolutionary Federation Central Committee member Garo Ispendjian, who is also a Homenetmen member; Homenetmen Central Executive member Viggen Davtian, Current and former honorary presidents of the Navasartian Games, Chapter executive members, members of the youth divisions and numerous Homenetmen supporters.
The official program started with the playing of the American and then the Armenian national anthems, followed by the Homenetmen anthem. Very Rev. Torkom Donoyan and Archpriest Fr. Vazken Atmajian delivered their blessings and wished success to Homenetmen and all its chapters in their extraordinary worThe masters of ceremony were Homenetmen youth division members Sevan Kalaydjian and Zepur Avanessian, who successfully ran the program throughout the night.
Following the opening remarks, Homenetmen Regional executive committee member Aram Yermian delivered the committee’s remarks. He emphasized the important role Homenetmen has in protecting and preserving our Armenian identity in the diaspora. Yermian said that as we prepare to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Homenetmen’s establishment, we have to realize the successes our initiatives have had, but also beware of the difficulties that we face. At the end of his speech, on behalf of the Regional executive, Yermian congratulated the honorees, specially thanked the founders of Homenetmen, all the current and former executive members as well as all devoted Homenetmen members.
A presentation of late Homenetmen members who had passed in the previous year, led to emotional reactions by all the attendees.
This was followed by the “Medal of Service Dzarayoutyan Shekanshan” Awards presentation by the Regional Executive Board. The recipients included 13 members from different chapters who were nominated by their respective chapter executives and handed the award by their chapter’s Regional Executive representative.
The honorees were.
Mher Tavidian, Los Angeles Chapter
John Karkazian, Fresno “Sassoon” Chapter
Cima Garabetian, Pasadena “Azadamard” Chapter
Ara Mangassarian, Glendale “Ararat” Chapter
Vicken Dakessian, Orange County “Sartarabad” Chapter
Hovig Bedevian, San Fernando Valley “Massis” Chapter
Vahe Manoushakian, San Diego “Sevan” Chapter
Avo Kechichian, Inland Empire “Araz” Chapter
Maral Panossian, Santa Clara “Ani” Chapter
Razmig Simonian, Cresenta Valley “Shant” Chapter
Zarouhi Baltajian, Phoenix Chapter
Sako Shirikian, Walnut Creek “Gars” Chapter
Vanso Jenabian, North Hollywood “Javakhk” Chapter
During the awards’ presentation, a brief biography about the honorees’ was read which described their commitment to Homenetmen, their devotion and loyalty to its slogan and their lifelong work in the organization.
The honorees’ work was appreciated by the crowd who expressed it with applause and ovations.
After Dinner was served, Viggen Davtian delivered the Homenetmen World Executive’s remarks. He congratulated the honorees, and thanked the event organizing Regional Executive Board. Davidian also expressed his gratitude for being present among numerous dedicated Homenetmen members, and respectfully acknowledged their work in the organization. Davidian also stressed the importance of the 100th anniversary of Homenetmen’s establishment, for the organization’s chapters and executive bodies worldwide.
Following Davtian’s remarks, Homenetmen Western US Regional Executive chair Manuel Marselian alongside Homenetmen World Executive member Viggen Davidian presented the “Special Order Ardagark Badvanshan” award to lifelong Homenetmen member and supporter Shant Haytayan.
Haytayan has actively served on various executive bodies of Homenetmen. As a committed member, he has served on the chapter executive body of the Los Angeles chapter as well as on the Regional Executive for 2 terms. He has humbly led the social committee of the Los Angeles chapter and has also served on various Central Committees. Haytayan has also humbly taken upon the honorary presidency of the 30th Navasartian Games. In 2000, his lifelong devotion and exemplary behavior was appreciated by the Regional Executive when he was given the “Exemplary” honorary title. Homenetmen’s slogan “Elevate yourself and Elevate others With You” has been an active influence in Haytayan’s life, where he has also implemented this principle in his personal achievements alongside his organizational work to Haytayan, Homenetmen is where Armenian youth is taught about the importance of patriotism and being well prepared to take on the challenges and life while being exemplary Armenians.
Haytayan was invited to stage with long applause and standing ovations by the attendees.
At the conclusion of the official program, Lilia Dance Group students performed led by Lilia Markarian. Their Armenian folk dance performance got some of the attendees on their feet who then joined the Dance Group students.
The event came to yet again solidify the will of all Homenetmen members and supporters to stay true to the mission of this great organization.