SAN FRANCISCO—Since 1923, the Mt. Davidson Landmark Park and Cross has been the home to the annual Easter Sunrise Service which brings together the community each Easter for a non-denominational city-wide celebration at the highest peak in San Francisco.
Due to the corona virus and the resulting shelter-in-place order, this 97 year old tradition has been canceled this year, its first time ever in its history.
However keeping with tradition, the Council of Armenian Americans of Northern California (CAAONC), the guardians of the Mt. Davidson Cross decided to continue the tradition of lighting the cross at dusk every Easter Eve. This year will just prove a bit different.
Buildings and landmarks across the Bay Area and the U.S. have been awash in blue light as part of a campaign to show support for healthcare professionals and essential front-line workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The #LightItBlue effort turned other Bay Area landmarks blue this week including Levi’s Stadium and Coit Tower.
This historical San Francisco landmark sits at 103 ft tall, nestled on the highest point in the city where it serves as a place of peace, reflection and remembrance. It is one of the oldest landmarks in San Francisco and stands as a memorial to the 1.5 million victims of the Armenian Genocide of 1915.
In 1923, George Decatur, official of the Western Union Telegraph Co., Director of the YMCA, and resident of the Sunset District in San Francisco, organized the first sunrise service, drawing over 5,000 attendees. The annual event has grown each year since its inception.
Since 1997, the Council of Armenian-American Organizations of Northern California (CAAONC), has been the legal owner of the Mt. Davidson Cross and assumed the responsibility for maintaining it. The Mount Davidson Cross rededicated as a memorial to the 1.5 million Armenians who perished during the 1915-1923 Armenian Genocide perpetrated by the Turkish Ottoman Empire, and in honor of all victims of injustice and cruelty, in protection of human rights and the dignity of all people.