LOS ANGELES–As the March For Humanity reached its final destination in Sacramento–organizers of the 215-mile and 19-day walk slogan promised that "The walk may end–but the march continues."
"Similar to what our slogan suggests–we and the Armenian youth as a collective must create new and more powerful ways of securing justice for the Armenian Genocide," said Vicken Sosikian–director of the March For Humanity. "We are currently discussing ways to not only continue the march [for justice]–but also to expand it."
The March For Humanity marked an unprecedented Armenian genocide event. In conjunction with the last two days of the walk–organizers of the March For Humanity launched a nationwide ad campaign on April 19 and 20 on CNN Networks. Reaching an audience of up to 8 million Americans–the March For Humanity marked the first recorded instance of a nationwide Armenian genocide ad campaign. The commercials informed viewers about the Armenian genocide–as well as the March For Humanity.
The March also received media coverage from outlets in geographical locations that normally do not offer much news about the Armenian genocide. Newspapers and television news programs in Visalia–Fresno–Madera–Merced–Turlock–Modesto–Lodi–Stockton–Sacramento–San Francisco–Los Angeles–Glendale–Burbank–and other California cities all echoed news of the March For Humanity. Preliminary media monitoring shows that the following media outlets covered the March For Humanity: Lodi News Sentinel–Modesto Bee–Fresno Bee–Los Angeles Times–Daily News–Sacramento Bee–Stockton Record–Contra Costa Times–San Jose Mercury News–San Diego Union Tribune–San Luis Obispo Tribune–Merced Sun Star–USA Today–Burbank Leader–Glendale News Press–Monterey County Herald–Voice of America–Democracy Now–ABC–CBS–NBC–UPN–and more than 100 other internet news sources.
"An estimated 10 million Americans have been educated about the Armenian Genocide as a result of the news coverage generated by the March For Humanity," said Sosikian. "More detailed research is likely to show that this number is even greater when our nationwide CNN ad campaign is included. Now we must search for ways to educate not ten but 100 million about the Genocide."
The March For Humanity was made possible by the flood of financial and moral support it received starting in late January by Armenia’s and non-Armenia’s alike. More than 500 organizations–businesses–and individuals invested in the idea. Some people mailed in their checks–others made their donations at the March For Humanity website–others sponsored walkers–others delivered their donation personally–some donated food–others water–others their cars–some gave clothes. Some–who lived in cities the marchers walked through–opened their doors to the young group of devoted youth.
"The amount of support we received to organize the march was unseen–at least by me," said Serouj Aprahamian–coordinator of the March For Humanity. "Although support is still needed–the amount we received prior to its beginning was a large encouragement for the walkers."
More than 11,500 different people from 84 different countries visited the March For Humanity website–www.marchforhumanity.org–between February 24 and April 24. More than 500 action alerts–calling on President Bush to officially recognize the Armenian genocide–were completed by many non-Armenia’s.
"Hundreds helped make the March For Humanity a reality. We are thankful to each and every individual–business–and organization who contributed in anyway to the March For Humanity," Sosikian. "A few such donors we would like to thank in particular include the Armenian Relief Society–Armenian National Committee of America–AA Cater Truck Manufacturing Company–GBH–Homenetmen–Horizon Armenian Television–Asbarez Armenian Daily Newspaper–Kerovision–Adin of California–Sunworks Tanning–New Armenia Daily–Armenian Life Magazine–Axis of Justice–and all the churches who made our marchers feel like home every night. We would also like to thank Mr. Kevork Aslanian–Mr. Sarkis Sarkissian–and Mrs. Vergine Sarkissian."