BY CAROL SUSSMAN
GLENDALE–As the Week of Remembrance has drawn to a close–I would like the Glendale community to know and understand about these events.
On April 21 there was a two-hour panel discussion that featured four distinguished speakers that talked about the atrocities committed upon the Native Americans–the Rwandans–the Armenia’s and the Jews. Drs. Palaysian–Miller–Maldonado and Judge Einhorn also took questions from the audience dealing with the causes and solutions of "man’s inhumanity to man". The reaction from the audience of over 200 participants was powerful. Everyone learned a great deal and was impressed and grateful for the high quality of programming the committee provided.
On April 24 there was a three and 1/2 hour program that was devoted to the Armenian Genocide. More than 2,000 people experienced a program that included photographs–newspaper clippings–a video presentation–a memory book–a canvas to sign and wonderful speakers–excellent singers and musicians–a significant play and inspiring clergy. Many also watched the program on TV that evening.
On April 26–the committee presented a program that was wrapped in compassion–hope and unity. Although the weather was very cold–the young people who performed warmed participants’ hearts. There were moving speeches and readings by a survivor of the Holocaust and by community leaders. At least 150 community members attended this event.
Many ask–"why do this?"–"why spend the City’s money?" I can only answer in the following ways: If the questioners had been at any of these events they would not be asking the questions. They would know. The events educated–sensitized and created a sense of understanding for the participants. The feedback has borne this out. A representative of the King of Rwanda left the library on April 21st and complimented the City of Glendale on its growth and intellectual excellence. "You are not just a town of Gun Shows anymore." he said. Our image has heightened within Southern California.
The committee of many dedicated community leaders and City staff–who have all volunteered their time and talents came together to try and solve some problems within our City. It was our goal to build bridges within our community through education and appreciation of the differences between individuals and groups living in Glendale. Many community based businesses sponsored this event any many individuals and associations contributed generously to this event so that the City of Glendale did not have to pay one dollar of taxpayer money.
Any process of change is slow and requires dedication and hard work. This committee–representing a cross section of Glendalians–succeeded in its goals more than anyone imagined. We are dedicated to continuing our mission and invite others in our community to join us in creating a City where people can respect and enjoy each other. A City we are so fortunate to share.