GLENDALE–Glendale City Mayor Gus Gomez approved a proclamation Tuesday ordering the American flag lowered to half-staff in honor of the Armenian Genocide.
A few Glendale residents had argued the flag should not be lowered to half-staff for an event that did not take place in America. Councilman Rafi Manoukian responded to opponents of the move by citing the fact that his existence in the US is a direct result of the Armenian Genocide. Manoukian said the denial of the Genocide is continuation of the Genocide–and that the U.S. government perpetuates the myth that it didn’t happen.
Dave Weaver–who supported lowering the flag as mayor–said Tuesday he had changed his mind about the practice–due to the unexpected outcry from the public.
Mayor Gomez expressed disappointment in the tone of some of the messages–which were full of bigotry and hatred. The yearlong debate over the half-staffing of the American flag had given many an outlet to express their dislike of Armenia’s.
The city has lowered the flag in recognition of the Armenian Genocide during the tenures of former mayors Ginger Bremberg and Sheldon Baker. Glendale has lowered its flag on at least two occasions in the recent past without causing even the slightest of stirs. Neither lowering prompted a single letter of complaint to the Community Forum nor registered at City Hall. Lowering the flag for the Genocide should be no different.
The City Council’s decision to lower the flag this April 24 not only pays respect to the victims of the Genocide and their descendants who reside in Glendale–it also demonstrates the city’s refusal to succumb to racist attitudes against the Armenian people.