BURBANK—Congressman Adam Schiff, along with several Armenian organizations, gathered for the Burbank City Council’s commemoration the Armenian Genocide on Tuesday, April 16. Organizations in attendance included the Armenian National Committee of America-Burbank, the Armenian Youth Federation Burbank “Varak” and “Gaidzag” chapters, Homenetmen “Sipan” chapter, and Armenian Relief Society “Araz” chapter.
Led by Mayor Emily Gabel-Luddy and City Council members, the commemoration began at 6:00 p.m. with the City Council presenting its proclamation memorializing the Armenian Genocide. Representatives present included: CA State Senator Anthony J. Portantino, CA Assembly Member Laura Friedman, and LA County Supervisor Katherine Barger joined the solemn occasion. A short remembrance program followed, joined by Congressman Adam Schiff and ANCA – Burbank leaders.
“It is a moral imperative to speak truth to power because genocide tragically is not a thing of the past, but very much a thing of the present,” stated Congressman Schiff. “We join tonight with our brothers and sisters, our mothers and fathers in the Armenian community to say we recognize the Armenian Genocide and we are devoted to making sure that this never happens again.”
“The Armenian Genocide is still all too relevant today. Unlike other major 20th century genocides, it has still not been acknowledged by the perpetrators, no reparations made, no reconciliation reached,” stated ANCA – Burbank chair Silva Kechichian. She continued “Remembrance of the Armenian Genocide not only serves to honor the victims and educate the public at large, but it also takes an important stand against historical revisionism, which only leads to a repetition of these unjust chapters of history.”
Later that evening, a candlelight vigil took place in front of Burbank City Hall, located at 275 E. Olive Ave. The event opened with a performance organized by the AYF Junior “Gaidzag” chapter and continued with remarks delivered by community leaders, including Burbank Unified School District Superintendent Matt Hill and AYF member Tony Ordoukhanian.
“Armenia is one nation, one land, and one people. Our history can never be denied. The reparations, restitution, and recognition will be known in every man and woman’s knowledge,” said AYF member Tony Ordoukhanian in his passionate speech addressed to community members.
The Armenian National Committee of America – Burbank advances the social, economic, cultural and political rights of the area’s Armenian American community and promotes increased Armenian American civic participation at the grassroots and public policy levels.