Armenian Genocide Memorial Day
CBD College Recognizes Armenian Genocide Memorial Day
Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day or Armenian Genocide Memorial Day is a national holiday in Armenia. The Armenian diaspora observes the day on April 24. Those who recognize and spread awareness of the Armenian Genocide of 1915 commemorate the victims annually. In Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, hundreds of thousands of people walk to the Tsitsernakaberd Genocide Memorial. There, they lay flowers at the eternal flame.
History of Armenian Genocide Memorial Day
The Armenian Genocide also known as the Armenian Holocaust, was the Ottoman government’s systematic extermination of 1.5 million of its own Armenian citizens. The starting date is conventionally held to be 24 April 1915. On this day, Ottoman authorities rounded up, arrested, deported, and murdered 235 to 270 Armenian intellectuals and community leaders. The genocide lasted through World War I, beginning with the killing of the male population through massacre. Next began the deportation of women, children, the elderly, and the infirm on death marches to the Syrian desert. Most Armenian diaspora communities around the world came into being as a direct result of the genocide. Turkey, the successor state of the Ottoman Empire, denies the word genocide as an accurate term for the mass killings of Armenians that began under Ottoman rule in 1915.
How is Armenian Genocide remembered in Los Angeles?
Southern California is home to the largest Armenian community outside of Armenia. More than 200,000 people of Armenian descent reside in Los Angeles County. Many stores post “closed” signs alerting customers in remembrance of the genocide. Last year, an estimated 60,000 protesters of all ages (according to the LAPD) rallied outside the Turkish Consulate on Wilshire Boulevard on the afternoon of April 24th. They dressed in purple and black, the colors of the symbolic Forget-Me-Not flower. Attendees waved flags and signs to commemorate the 101st anniversary of the Armenian genocide. Mothers and fathers take the day to teach the younger generations their history and never forget. Each year they demand reparations for the unpunished crime.
Today, more than 40 states recognize the genocide. They continue to demand justice until both Turkey and the U.S. acknowledge the death of 1.5 million Armenians. Those who keep the memory alive hope that crimes against humanity, such as these, never happen again.