Our Armenian schools are sanctuaries where our youth gather each day to receive high quality education in a nurturing environment. These institutions serve as the foundation upon which generations have thrived while proudly advancing and preserving our heritage, history, culture and language and cause. Our schools, in many ways, represent a home away from our ancestral homeland and in that sense represent sacred ground.
Established decades ago by Armenian Genocide survivors who were committed to see the continuation and growth of our culture and language as a direct response to the Turkish government’s executed genocide against our people, our schools encapsulate who we are as an American Armenian community.
It is for that reason that the cowardly acts of placing Turkish flags on the Holy Martyrs Ferrahian High School and the AGBU Manoogian-Demirdjian School in the West San Fernando Valley this week by unknown trespassers can only be seen as an attempt to intimidate and assault our community as a whole, and a hate crime in its most basic sense.
Raising the flag of the nation responsible for the destruction and displacement of a 5000 year old civilization which still to this day actively denies the crime is especially painful and insulting to us all.
This act serves as a reminder that a crime unpunished is a crime that continues. In the last 48 hours the ANCA-Western Region, administrations of the Holy Martyrs Ferrahian High School and AGBU Manoogian-Demirdjian, as well as the Prelacy Board of Regents and other concerned local organizations rallied our communities, local law enforcement and public officials to respond with strength and resolve and to oppose this hate crime and ensure heightened security at our schools and places of worship.
To this end the Armenian Revolutionary Federation of the Western United States, with its network of chapters and affiliate organizations stands in solidarity with our schools, students, teachers, staff and our community to fight against bigotry, vandalism and hate crimes to ensure our community institutions which we have worked to foster this last century continue to remain safe from all harm.
Armenian Revolutionary Federation
Western United States Central Committee