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November 21 2017 | 11:11pm AET

Orange County declares April 24 Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day

Source: Asbarez | Wednesday, 12 April 2017
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Chairperson of the Orange County Board of Supervisors Michelle Steel holds proclamation designating April 24th as Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day with representatives of OC Armenian community

Chairperson of the Orange County Board of Supervisors Michelle Steel holds proclamation designating April 24th as Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day with representatives of OC Armenian community

SANTA ANA,​ ​Calif.​—For​ ​the​ ​second​ ​consecutive​ ​year​ ​the​ ​Orange​ ​County​ ​Board​ ​of​ ​Supervisors​ ​issued​ ​a proclamation​ ​designating​ ​April​ ​24​​​ ​as​ ​Armenian​ ​Genocide​ ​Remembrance​ ​Day,​ ​commemorating​ ​those who​ ​perished​ ​during​ ​the​ ​first​ ​Genocide​ ​of​ ​the​ ​twentieth​ ​century.

Representatives​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Armenian​ ​American​ ​community​ ​of​ ​Orange​ ​County​ ​were​ ​in​ ​attendance.

Chairwoman​ ​Michelle​ ​Steel​ ​opened​ ​the​ ​program​ ​by​ ​stating​ ​that​ ​this​ ​year​ ​marks​ ​the​ ​102​nd​​ ​anniversary​ ​of the​ ​Armenian​ ​Genocide​ ​that​ ​took​ ​the​ ​lives​ ​of​ ​one​ ​and​ ​a​ ​half​ ​million​ ​Armenians.​ ​She​ ​stated​ ​“Not​ ​only were​ ​Armenians​ ​massacred​ ​within​ ​their​ ​historic​ ​homeland​ ​but​ ​their​ ​lands​ ​and​ ​property​ ​were​ ​stolen.” The​ ​Chairwoman​ ​explained​ ​that​ ​Orange​ ​County​ ​continues​ ​to​ ​do​ ​its​ ​part​ ​in​ ​honoring​ ​the​ ​victims​ ​of​ ​this tragedy​ ​to​ ​ensure​ ​it​ ​is​ ​not​ ​forgotten​ ​or​ ​repeated.

Reverend​ ​Fathers​ ​Moushegh​ ​Tshajian​ ​from​ ​St.​ ​Mary​ ​Armenian​ ​Church​ ​in​ ​Costa​ ​Mesa​ ​and​ ​Karekin Bedourian​ ​from​ ​Forty​ ​Martyrs​ ​Armenian​ ​Church​ ​in​ ​Santa​ ​Ana​ ​took​ ​the​ ​podium​ ​and​ ​addressed​ ​the​ ​crowd. They​ ​thanked​ ​Chairwoman​ ​Steel​ ​and​ ​the​ ​County​ ​Board​ ​of​ ​Supervisors​ ​for​ ​their​ ​commitment​ ​to accurately​ ​remembering​ ​the​ ​past​ ​and​ ​honoring​ ​the​ ​victims​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Armenian​ ​Genocide,​ ​then​ ​together lead​ ​with​ ​the​ ​prayer.

Representatives of the Orange County Armenian community

Representatives of the Orange County Armenian community

Honorable​ ​Gassia​ ​Apkarian,​ ​Orange​ ​County​ ​Superior​ ​Court​ ​Judge,​ ​passed​ ​out​ ​pins​ ​with​ ​the​ ​U.S.​ ​and Armenian​ ​flags​ ​then​ ​thanked​ ​the​ ​Board​ ​of​ ​Supervisors​ ​for​ ​upholding​ ​justice,​ ​setting​ ​the​ ​historical​ ​record straight​ ​and​ ​not​ ​playing​ ​politics​ ​with​ ​historical​ ​facts.​ ​Alexander​ ​Gonzalez,​ ​District​ ​Director​ ​for​ ​Congressman Dana​ ​Rohrabacher​ ​also​ ​stressed​ ​the​ ​importance​ ​making​ ​sure​ ​such​ ​atrocities​ ​are​ ​not​ ​committed​ ​in​ ​the future​ ​and​ ​pointed​ ​to​ ​Congressman​ ​Rohrabacher’s​ ​reintroduction​ ​of​ ​the​ ​House​ ​Resolution​ ​calling​ ​for​ ​the defense​ ​of​ ​Christians​ ​and​ ​Yezidis​ ​in​ ​the​ ​region.

Anahid​ ​Arakelian,​ ​ANCA​ ​Orange​ ​County​ ​chapter​ ​addressed​ ​the​ ​crowd​ ​and​ ​also​ ​thanked​ ​Chairwoman Steel​ ​and​ ​the​ ​entire​ ​Board​ ​of​ ​Supervisors.​ ​She​ ​gave​ ​a​ ​historical​ ​account​ ​of​ ​how​ ​a​ ​few​ ​of​ ​her​ grandparents escaped​ ​the​ ​devastation,​ ​survived,​ ​then​ ​eventually​ ​moved​ ​to​ ​the​ ​United​ ​States​ ​where​ ​many​ ​survivors relocated​ ​and​ ​contributed​ ​on​ ​multiple​ ​levels,​ ​such​ ​as​ ​Calvin​ ​K.​ ​Kazandjian​ ​founder​ ​of​ ​Almond​ ​Joy​ ​and Mounds​ ​candy​ ​bars,​ ​MRI​ ​inventor​ ​Raymond​ ​Vahan​ ​Damadian,​ ​and​ ​Kirk​ ​Kerkorian.​ ​Arakelian​ ​urged​ ​those in​ ​attendance​ ​to​ ​see​ ​The​ ​Promise​ ​on​ ​April​ ​21​st​,​ ​a​ ​powerful​ ​film​ ​about​ ​the​ ​Armenian​ ​Genocide.​ ​She highlighted​ ​the​ ​freedoms​ ​we​ ​sometimes​ ​take​ ​for​ ​granted​ ​in​ ​the​ ​U.S.​ ​and​ ​the​ ​need​ ​to​ ​make​ ​sure​ ​such tragedies​ ​are​ ​not​ ​repeated​ ​in​ ​the​ ​future.​ ​Anahid​ ​closed​ ​by​ ​once​ ​again​ ​thanking​ ​the​ ​County​ ​of​ ​Orange​ ​and urging​ ​those​ ​in​ ​attendance​ ​to​ ​follow​ ​events​ ​at​ ​home​ ​and​ ​abroad,​ ​and​ ​highlighted​ ​the​ ​situation​ ​in​ ​Artsakh and​ ​the​ ​current​ ​struggle​ ​for​ ​liberation​ ​and​ ​basic​ ​human​ ​rights​ ​taking​ ​place​ ​there.

Community​ ​members​ ​gathered​ ​for​ ​a​ ​photo​ ​with​ ​the​ ​Board​ ​of​ ​Supervisors​ ​and​ ​this​ ​year’s​ ​proclamation, and​ ​then​ ​again​ ​with​ ​David​ ​Gonzalez​ ​from​ ​Congressman​ ​Rohrabacher’s​ ​office.