Burbank Parade Set for April 24, but Future Events May Be Shifted

City News Service
April 7, 2004 Wednesday

Burbank Parade Set for April 24, but Future Events May Be Shifted


The annual Burbank on Parade celebration will take place April 24 as
scheduled, but organizers agreed to shift future events to avoid a
day that marks a dark period in Armenian history. In mid-February,
members of the Burbank on Parade organizing committee scheduled the
parade for a Saturday that falls this year on Armenian Genocide
Remembrance Day. For the Armenian community, April 24 is a solemn day
commemorating the slaughter of 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman
Turkish Empire from 1915-23. Many of Burbank’s estimated 10,000
Armenian-Americans will not join the 23rd annual parade because they
will spend the day at homes, churches or rallies. But the event, a
celebration of the local community traditionally held the last
Saturday in April, cannot be rescheduled this year because of the
challenge of coordinating youth bands, drill teams, equestrian
entries and representatives from local organizations, event
coordinators said. In an attempt to avoid future conflicts, Burbank
Vice Mayor Marsha Ramos organized an informal meeting last week
between representatives of the city’s Armenian community and parade
organizers. “I believe the goal of this meeting was to allow everyone
to have a better understanding of the importance of April 24 to the
Armenian community,” Ramos said. “I felt it was important that people
meet face to face in order to facilitate a dialogue, and to foster
and strengthen community. “I believe we accomplished that goal
Thursday night. We plan to build on this first meeting and meet again
some time in May,” she said. Those attending the meeting agreed
future parade dates would be selected so they do not conflict with
Armenian Genocide commemorations. Joanne Miller chairs this year’s
parade effort. “The parade has been the same weekend for the 23 years
of its existence,” she said. “It’s extremely unfortunate that the two
events coincide this year. We have committed to an alternate and
permanent solution in the future to work better for everyone in our
community,” she said.

Emil Lazarian

“I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia . See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.” - WS