BY HAGOP BADOLIAN
Every Friday at the Armenian Center is a family night. However, on Friday, January 27, was not just an ordinary family night. As Armenians around the world were celebrating the French senate’s historic vote that criminalizes the denial of the Armenian genocide, the Armenian Center Committee wasn’t about to pass up this opportunity to bring the community together and celebrate this momentous event as well.
In preparation for the event, the announcement was e-mailed to all sister organizations, the committee’s list of supporters, and posted on Facebook. There was a great turnout. A group of AYF members arrived at the Armenian Center and decorated patio area with balloons and banners that represented the colors of France and Armenia’s flags. The committee decided to start the event after guests enjoyed a delicious meal and the badanees finished their meeting.
Hagop Badolian made the opening remarks and stressed that on our quest to seek justice and recognition of the Armenian Genocide, we are confronted with governments’ political and financial interests. However, we cannot give up as we have come a long way. He stated that it is essential to support the various committees in the community and support their events as they will ensure that our struggle will continue and expand.
The attendees then watched a video compilation arranged by Giro Donabedian that showed the viewers the atrocities during the genocide, the many unfulfilled promises made by U.S. presidents, and ended with our latest victory in France.
Garo Madenlian emphasized the fact that as Armenians we are passed the period of mourning for our loss. He stated that we are also beyond the stage of seeking justice. We are now on the offensive, he said, and we will fight relentlessly for recognition of the Genocide and demand reparations for the insurmountable losses our nation has suffered, including the return of our lands in Eastern Turkey. Madenlian recognized the hard work that our supporters have put forth throughout the years under the direction of the Armenian National Committee members around the world and especially in France.
The event ended with popping of champagne bottles. One could hear cheers of victory resonating in the room and the fire in everyone’s eyes to continue our struggle until justice is served.