Fresno events to recall Armenian massacre

Fresno events to recall Armenian massacre
By Vanessa Colon
Fresno Bee
Sunday April 18, 2004

A Fresno blood drive, a candlelight vigil and the raising of the
Armenian flag will mark the 89th anniversary of the killing of an estimated
1.5 million Armenians at the beginning of the last century.
Armenian-Americans – an estimated 40,000 of whom live in the Valley –
say 1.5 million Armenians were killed between 1915 and 1923 at the hands of
the Ottoman Turks.
Officials in modern Turkey, an ally of the United States, say the death
toll was lower and have formally recognized that as Armenian massacre took
Nazik Arisian, an administrator at Holy Trinity Armenian Apostolic
Church in Fresno, said the events this week will “Give respect. It’s to not
forget them. It’s to perpetuate the memory so it’s not forgotten.”
The events begin today with the third annual Martyr’s Day Blood Drive at
10 a.m. at the First Armenian Presbyterian Church.
Donors must be in good health, be at least 17 years old and weigh at
least 110 pounds.
On Friday, the Armenian Students Organization and the Armenian Studies
Program at California State University, Fresno, will feature poetry and
various presentations, beginning at noon on the university campus.
A film and a candlelight vigil will follow at 7 p.m. State Sen. Chuck
Poochigian, R-Fresno, is scheduled to speak.
“The reason (the community) should come is so they are educated… The
events also are to pay respect for those who died in the genocide,” said
Barlow Der Mugrdechian, professor of Armenian studies at Fresno State.
Activities on Saturday will include the raising of an Armenian flag at
Fresno City Hall.
Holy Trinity Armenian Apostolic Church plans to hold an Armenian Martyrs
Day Commemoration ecumenical service at 7 p.m.
On April 25, a memorial service will be at 1 p.m. at the Ararat Masis
cemetery at the monument to Soghomon Tehllirian, who
killed a Turkish leader considered a principal perpetrator in the Armenian

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