Glendale:Genocide commemoration

Glendale News Press
April 22, 2006
Genocide commemoration
Local events gather community members to observe the 91st anniversary of the
Armenian Genocide.
By Tania Chatila, News-Press and Leader

NORTHEAST GLENDALE — Celine Mackerdichian doesn’t want to just
slap an Armenian flag on her car and miss out on school on Monday in
recognition of the 91st anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.

The senior at Clark Magnet High School — like many other students
in the Glendale Unified School District — wants to do more.

She wants to educate her fellow Armenian and non-Armenian peers on
the events of 1915 to 1918, when 1.5 million Armenians died at the
hands of the Ottoman Turks.

Mackerdichian was one of more than 75 students from the Armenian
clubs from all four high schools in the district who helped put on
the fifth annual genocide commemoration event at Glendale High School
Friday night.

advertisement More than 800 people, including city and school board
officials, residents and students, packed the school’s auditorium to
attend the event. Many of them wore black T-shirts emblazoned with
the words “Stop the Denial.”

The Turkish government denies the genocide ever happened and the
United States Congress does not recognize it as a genocide.

“I couldn’t be more proud of these kids for taking on this social
responsibility, learning the history and organizing this event,”
school board member Greg Krikorian said.

Krikorian first encouraged the idea of a collaborative commemoration
event among the Armenian clubs from Glendale’s four high schools
five years ago, as a way to provide something that all students
could attend.

The students from Glendale, Hoover, Clark Magnet and Crescenta Valley
high schools have been planning the event since September.

“It’s my Armenian community and I feel like they have given me so
much, so I want to give back by teaching about the genocide,” said
Ateena Pirverdian, a senior at Crescenta Valley High School.

Like Mackerdichian, Pirverdian wants to spread awareness about the
Armenian Genocide.

“Especially even in Glendale, where there is a large Armenian
population, it’s important to let people know why half of the student
body is not there [on Armenian Genocide remembrance day, April 24],”
she said.

At Friday’s event, all four of the district’s high schools put on
performances, including a poetry reading, skit and video.

Several dance groups also performed traditional Armenian dances,
the singer Arax performed and students from R.D. White Elementary
School sang traditional Armenian songs.

“They have done an effort here to reactivate the memory, in fact,
and to ask for the stopping of the denial,” said Vatiter Mandjikian,
a La Crescenta resident who attended the event.

Friday’s event was one way to recognize the historical event that
has affected and continues to affect millions of lives, district
superintendent Michael Escalante said.

“The Armenian Genocide is a tragedy in history that needs to be
recognized,” he said.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

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