BY SEVAG JIERIAN
FRESNO—The Armenian Youth Federation’s Fresno “Kevork Chavoush” chapter hosted its first annual “March for Justice” in commemoration of the 96th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.
The march began at 7 a.m. from the corner of Shaw and Blackstone. Nearly 100 participants marched south on Blackstone carrying American and Armenian flags, along with signs and banners. Participants included AYF members, Fresno Homenetmen “Sassoun” Boy Scouts, Fresno State Armenian Students Organization members, as well as community supporters.
“This march was conducted in order to show our community that Armenians will never forget what happened in the years of 1915-1918, when 1.5 million Armenians were massacred to the hands of the Turkish Government. This was done to commemorate our ancestors and the death marches they were sent on that ultimately took their lives,” says Chapter Chairperson Anthony Torossian.
Walking, chanting, and waving flags, signs, and banners, the crowd of 100 participants marched down Blackstone with the Fresno City Hall as its end location. Upon arrival at the Fresno City Hall, a crowd of a few hundred people were gathered anticipating the marchers arrival, and started cheering.
Once there, the annual Armenian flag raising ceremony, hosted by the Armenian National Committee of Fresno, began, featuring guest speakers, Fresno City Councilman Andreas Borgeas, and State Assemblyman Jeff Denham.
“We have to bring Justice to our people and make sure the United States government recognizes the massacres of 1915-1918 as Genocide. We will always commemorate the Armenian Genocide in the month of April until Justice is served,” said Armenian Youth Federation member Robert Karamanlian.
The five-mile March for Justice and Flag Raising event concluded at noon and was followed by a religious mass at the Ararat Masis cemetery to commemorate the 1.5 million victims of the Armenian Genocide.