Event Speakers Call on United States to Recognize and Apply Official Borders
GLENDALE, Calif.–Hundreds packed the Glendale Central Library auditorium Sunday to commemorate the 90th anniversary of President Woodrow Wilson’s arbitral award on the Turkey-Armenia border. The event was organized by the Defense Council of Western Armenia (DCWA).
Among those in attendance were Glendale Unified School District Chairman Greg Krikorian, California State Assembly Member Anthony Portantino and 32nd District U.S. House Representative Congresswoman Judy Chu.
Arick Gevorkian, the event’s master of ceremonies, welcomed the audience and thanked them for supporting the mission of the DCWA and congratulated its members and leaders for having the vision and follow through to raise awareness for and pursue the realization of Wilsonian Armenia throughout the last five years.
In his remarks, Greg Krikorian announced his plans to join forces with the Western Armenian Heritage Foundation in erecting a statue of President Woodrow Wilson at the Wilson Middle School in Glendale. This announcement was followed by yet another significant message delivered by Congresswoman Judy Chu.
“These were lands that were part of historical Armenia for decades if not centuries. They connected this now land locked country to the Black Sea and were a hub of maritime trade,” said Rep. Chu. “These four provinces had significant Armenian populations and thrived before the Genocide forced inhabitants from their homes and their homeland.”
“While 90 years have passed since President Woodrow Wilson and the international community agreed that these lands would be part of an independent Armenia, this has still not happened. And that is wrong,” she added.
Keynote speaker, Krikor Soukiasian, gave a detailed overview of the events leading up to the signing of the Treaty of Sevres. DCWA President, Michael Sosikian, addressed the audience with a concise presentation about the current applicability and legality of President Woodrow Wilson’s arbitral award as it pertains to international law.
“The message and goals of the DCWA have resonated in media outlets from Armenia to Los Angeles over the last several years. Our people have a clear understanding that the current border between Armenia and Turkey is simply illegitimate per international law. We must continue our work and grow the voices of righteousness and justice until we have the just opportunity to return to our homeland as determined by President Woodrow Wilson’s arbitral award,” said Sosikian, prior to addressing the audience. “Locally, we look forward to working on the Woodrow Wilson statue project with Greg Krikorian and the Glendale School District Board.”
Referencing the recent reparations conference at UCLA, guest speaker Donald Wilson Bush, a direct decent of President Woodrow Wilson, said that work towards the realization of Wilsonian Armenia is steadily growing. Pointing to the map of Wilsonian Armenia he commended the work of the DCWA and promised to continue his efforts in that respect as well.
The commemorative evening also featured a few talented artists of the Armenian community, including violinist Alen Aghadzhanian, a recitation by Andranik Soghomonian and filmaker Armen Ohannesian’s short documentary about his recent visit to Western Armenia. The evening concluded with a performance by the Hamazkayin “Sayat Nova” Choir, led by Nora Roumian-Bairamian.