Granada Hills, CA April 11, 2015 – The North Valley ARF Arshavir Shiragian Gomideh, headquartered at 17422 Chatsworth Street, in conjunction with ANCA,CSUN ASA and several Armenian youth and cultural based organizations from the North San Fernando Valley organized and implemented an unprecedented Memorial in honor of the 1.5 Million Armenians who were massacred by the Ottoman Turks during the first Genocide of the 20th Century on Saturday, April 17th, 2015.
The event was held at Plaza del Sol Concert Hall located on campus at California State University, Northridge. “This was the first event of its kind in the North San Fernando Valley” said Toros Kejejian, repsetantative of the ARF Arshavir Shiragian Gomideh organizing Committee for this event. “We showcased our youth, our culture, and our history to the community where our Center is located. Our partnership with CSUN’s ASA, the Armenian Relief Society, the Armenian Youth Federation, the Armenian General Athletic Union & Scouts and the Hamazkayin Cultural Foundation filled the venue to maximum capacity and we, unfortunately, had to turn several parties away due to space limitations at Plaza del Sol” said Kejejian.
The Theme for this Centennial Event was ‘Time for Restitution’ and showcased several ‘like minded’ community activists who enthusiastically presented Armenian heritage, music, song, and media to all in attendance. The Homenetmen Massis Chapter Scouts (Troop 1918) presented Colors to kick off the event with welcoming remarks from Dr. Dianne Harrison, President of CSUN. In addition to Opening Statements from AYF Artsakh Chapter representatives, Songs and Poetry by the Armenian Youth Federation Juniors, and a special message from the Armenian Students Association of CSUN, several dignitaries presented their view and support of GENOCIDE Survivors near and far. The recurring theme from the representatives from the US Congress, California State Assembly, and ANCA was the importance of Recognition and Restitution by all world leaders including the US Federal Government. In addition to supporting their constituents; all of the dignitaries present have a special affinity to the Armenian Cause and were invited by local members of the Armenian National Committee of America.
Among the elected officials present at the event were Representative Brad Shermanl California State Assemblymembers Scott Wilk, Matt Dababneh and Adrin Nazarian; and Glendale City Clerk Ardashess Kassakhian.
Ara Kazanjian presented the message on behalf of the Arshavir Shiragaian Gomideh, which focused on Genocide reparations and restitution.
The Keynote Speaker for the event was Dr. Hayg Oshagan who informed all in attendance of the strides, great and small, being made in Historic Western Armenia and Turkey today in recognition and restitution. He spoke of municipalities that, in fact, have invited Armenian’s with documented claims to stake their claim and move back to their historic homes and/or obtain comparable property in cases where their land/homes are occupied. The evening was wrapped up with a special rendition of several Armenian Patriotic songs presented by Hamazkayin “Sayat Nova” Choir and a prayer by Rev. Razmig Khatchadourian.