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90th Anniversary of Armenian Genocide to be Commemorated in NYC

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  • Fr. John-Brian
    Joint Commemorative Committee for the 90th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide of 1915 138 East 39th Street New York, NY 10016 Contact: Iris Papazian,
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 5, 2005
      Joint Commemorative Committee for the 90th Anniversary of the Armenian
      Genocide of 1915
      138 East 39th Street New York, NY 10016
      Contact: Iris Papazian, 212-689-7810
      Chris Zakian, 212-686-0710
      Date: February 28, 2005


      Joint Committee of Armenian American Organizations Plan Day of Remembrance,
      Recognition for the "Forgotten Genocide"

      * * *

      NEW YORK, NY-On Sunday, April 24, 2005, Armenian Americans from throughout
      the northeast will converge on New York City to commemorate the 90th
      anniversary of the 1915 Armenian Genocide-in which 1.5 million Armenians
      perished at the hands of the Ottoman Turkish empire.

      Historians consider the attempt to exterminate the Armenians as the first
      instance of genocide in the 20th century: a precursor to mass killings
      throughout the century, and an explicit model for Hitler's own "final
      solution." Still, 90 years after the catastrophe that scattered surviving
      Armenians across the globe, the Republic of Turkey continues to deny the
      facts of the Genocide.

      For this year's New York observance of the Armenian Genocide on April 24
      (the date annually observed as "Martyrs Day" by Armenians around the world),
      the main Armenian American organizations have joined forces to plan a major
      commemoration, built around the themes of remembrance, justice, and

      The day will start with church services at 9:00 a.m., in Manhattan's two
      Armenian cathedrals: St. Vartan Cathedral (Second Ave. at 34th St.) and St.
      Illuminator's Cathedral (27th St. between Second and Third Avenues).

      At 12:00 noon, a large memorial gathering at Times Square (Broadway at 43rd
      St.) will bring together several thousand Armenian Americans from the Mid
      Atlantic and New England areas.

      Finally, from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m., a solemn ecumenical requiem service will be
      held at St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Cathedral (Fifth Ave. at 50th St.),
      where dignitaries from the religious, political, diplomatic, and media
      arenas will be present.

      In the run-up to the main commemoration, related events have been planned
      throughout the northeast, to build momentum towards April 24. These include
      speaking engagements by Dr. Peter Balakian-professor at Colgate University
      and acclaimed author of the New York Times bestsellers The Burning Tigris
      and Black Dog of Fate. Also planned is a production/reading of the
      award-winning drama, Beast on the Moon, by Richard Kalinoski- an immigrant
      love story whose two central characters are survivors of the Armenian

      Other events will involve elderly Genocide survivors, noted Armenian
      American scholars, and civil rights leaders who support the goal of gaining
      official political recognition for the Armenian Genocide, both in Turkey and
      in the United States.

      Organizers view this anniversary year as a chance to heal the emotional
      scars of the survivors of the Genocide-who fled their homeland to the safety
      of America's shores-and their descendants.

      "We see it as an opportunity to catalyze leaders, at home and abroad, to
      recognize the Genocide and seek justice for its victims," say Ken Sarajian
      and Roy Stepanian, co-chair of the joint 90th anniversary committee.

      Despite the passage of 90 years, recent events make the Armenian Genocide a
      relevant topic. Human rights questions, including the Genocide, have become
      sticking points with the international community as Turkey attempts to gain
      entry to the European Union. And Turkey's decade-long land and rail
      blockade of the neighboring Republic of Armenia has caused deep economic
      problems for Armenia's struggling citizens, already burdened with building a
      free society over the ruins of the Soviet period.

      More generally, genocide itself remains a horrifyingly relevant political
      matter, as current events in Africa testify. Identification and prevention
      of such atrocities is an important theme for Armenians in the upcoming

      "This memorial will educate, in the hope that such things never happen
      again," says Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Diocese of the
      Armenian Church of America.

      Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan, Prelate of the Armenian Apostolic Church of
      America, adds: "The justice we seek will stretch beyond our borders and
      prevent similar events from taking place."

      # # #
      The Armenian Genocide Memorial Committee is coordinating events on April 24,
      2005, to commemorate the 90th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. The
      committee is comprised of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America
      (Eastern), Eastern Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America,
      Armenian Assembly of America, Armenian Democratic Liberal Party, Apostolic
      Exarch for Armenian Catholics in the U.S., Armenian General Benevolent
      Union, Armenian Missionary Association of America, Armenian National
      Committee of America, Armenian Relief Society of the Eastern United States,
      Armenian Revolutionary Federation, Armenian Social Democratic Hunchakian
      Party, Knights and Daughters of Vartan.
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