COSTA MESA, Calif.,—The Armenian community in Orange County supported the commemoration of the Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day resolution at the Orange County Board of Supervisors meeting.
Chair of the Orange County Board of Supervisors, Vice Michelle Steel spearheaded the introduction of the resolution. Each year, Vice Chair Steel has led the efforts to put the resolution on the Board Agenda. This is the fourth year that the Board of Supervisors has recognized this day dedicated to commemorating those who perished during the Armenian Genocide from 1915 to 1923.and will be officially placed on the “Recurring List of Resolutions.”
“Orange County needs to continue leading the way to ensure that this historic tragedy is never forgotten and the victims of genocide continue to be honored,” said Vice Chair Steel. “Orange County needs to continue leading the way to ensure that this historic tragedy is never forgotten and the victims of genocide continue to be honored,” she continued.
Both Orange County Armenian church leaders, Father Moushegh Tashjian of St. Mary Armenian Apostolic Church and Father Karekin Bedourian of Forty Martyrs Armenian Apostolic Church, led the audience in the “Lord’s Prayer,” in Santa Ana. Father Moushegh reflected on the tragedies his family experienced, touched upon the background of the history, and the importance of recognizing the genocide. Father Karekin spoke about the canonizing the martyrs in 2015 when it was the 100 anniversary of the genocide. He led a prayer for the martyrs.
This year, new language included the recognition of University of Irvine’s Meghrouni Chair in Armenian Studies Program, and its director, Dr. Houri Berberian. The resolution recognizes the UCI Armenian Student’s Association and Chapman University Armenian Students Association.
Christopher Khachadour, a history and political science graduating senior at UCI and chairman of the Armenian Students Association accepted the resolutions on behalf of the Meghrouni family, Dr. Berberian, UCI ASA and Chapman ASA.
He gave his remarks reminding the audience after 100 years, the Turkish government continues to deny perpetrating the Armenian Genocide and continues to undermine it—at all levels of government. He talked about Azerbaijan continuously waging a policy of aggression against Armenians around the world, but most prominently in the region of Artsakh.
Armenian community supporters included Anahid Arakelian and Bianka Asik, advocates of Armenian affairs in Orange County, Taline Jermakian of ANCA Orange County Chapter, Garo Kilejian of ARF O.C. Armen Karo Gomideh, Yrtsgn Sevan Bedourian, Pastors wife of Forty Martyrs Armenian Church and Hratch Hintlian Church office administration of St. Mary Armenian church board Dr. Levon Keleshian and Tony Markarian.
All Orange County Board of Supervisors meetings are archived and accessed on-demand.
Below is the resolution:
WHEREAS, in 1890 the Sultan Abdul Hamid II declared he would solve the “Armenian Question” in the Ottoman Empire, beginning violent actions that led to the deaths of 1.5 million Armenians throughout the Empire; and
WHEREAS, the Armenian Genocide was conceived and carried out from 1915 to 1923, resulting in, the death of Christians, Assyrians, Greeks, and Armenian men, women, and children who were murdered or marched to their deaths; and
WHEREAS, these crimes against humanity also had the consequence of the deportation of nearly 2,000,000 Armenians, removing all traces of Armenians and other targeted people from their historic homelands, and enriching the opposing side with the lands and property of the victims; and
WHEREAS, the United States is on record as having officially recognized the Armenian Genocide, when on April 22, 1981, U.S. President Ronald Reagan, in Proclamation 4838 said, “Like the genocide of the Armenian’s before it, and the genocide of the Cambodians which followed it—and like too many other such persecutions of too many other peoples—the lessons of the Holocaust must never be forgotten”; and
WHEREAS, the State of California officially recognizes the Armenian Genocide, and includes the teaching of the Armenian Genocide as part of the State’s model curriculum for 10th grade history students; and
WHEREAS, in 1986 the Armenian Students’ Association was established at the University of California, Irvine; and in 2007 the Armenian Studies Program was established, where in 2016 Dr. Houri Berberian was chosen to be the Meghrouni Family Presidential Chair in Armenian Studies with a $2 million-dollar endowment; and
WHEREAS, in 2018 the Armenian Students’ Association was established at Chapman University; and
WHEREAS, every student and person, regardless of ethnicity or national origin, should be made aware of and educated about the Armenian Genocide so that it and other state-sanctioned forms of ethnic cleansing may never happen again;
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Orange County Board of Supervisors does hereby designate April 24, as Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day in the County of Orange and encourages community groups, non-profit organizations, schools, and residents to appropriately commemorate these tragic events so that the victims may never be forgotten and the perpetrators be held to account.