BY GAREN YEGPARIAN
April 24, 2015. Events on, around, about, for, through, because of, and probably a whole of other prepositionally connected events are what “it” and “they” are.
A fellow columnist recently wrote me that it’s just impossible to stay on top of all the art shows, books, conferences, demonstrations, events, films, groups, lectures, movies, etc. appearing on the occasion of the centennial of the Genocide.
Here’s hoping that the overwhelming majority of those will be impactful, meaningful, and contribute to the Armenian struggle for justice.
Some of these events will be small-scale, others, grand, and still others connected to or connecting events.
One of the biggest events planned is the March for Justice from Hollywood’s Little Armenia to the Turkish consulate in LA, on April 24, 2015. I’ve heard that organizers hope to draw some 100,000 participants. That would indeed be an unprecedented, unrivaled success. The good news is sectors of our community that had not coordinated their efforts previously, seem to be doing so to make this event come off successfully.
In Burbank, we’re supporting the high school Armenian clubs’ efforts to inform their schoolmates. We’re researching local churches’ participation in efforts to save Genocide survivors, hoping to work with those institutions in appreciation, in the same spirit as the “America We Thank You” campaign. We’re working on our traditional proclamation from city council and the vigil that follows it. Throughout all this, we’re planning to encourage, motivate, and mobilize all those with whom we make contact, to participate in the March for Justice.
Another interesting effort is LA@DC. It is a bicycle ride, across the USA, with different riders completing segments in succession, as I understand it. I registered for it some 2-3 months ago and am looking forward to riding one leg of the whole cross-country span. The first riders will set out from the demonstration at the consulate. On May 7, the plan is to arrive in Washington D.C. in time for the services that will be officiated by both catholicosses. I’m excited by LA@DC, but I’m also concerned. I hope we don’t squander a fabulous opportunity to inform people all across the country about the Genocide and remind them of what their grandparents and great-grandparents did for ours. I worry that the 13 days of the ride make it so short that it might not be possible to spend enough time interacting with the people who live in the heartland of America as the cyclists pedal through. We’ll see.
Since Genocide related travel seems to be in order, it’s worth mentioning Project2015 that seeks to assure the return to our ancestral lands, a significant number of Armenians on the occasion of the centennial. I wish I could arrange to go… soon, very soon… Ararat beckons.
Maybe you can go. Make sure you participate. Do something small and local scaled, but also go to big, regional events. You could speak to high school history classes, go to conferences, march, write, shout, sing, dance… all to remind your neighbors, honor the martyrs, and work for restorative justice. But make sure you start DOING, and right away.