CITY HALL -- The Los Angeles City Council took action on two items on Wednesday to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, one of the greatest crimes against humanity,Councilmembers Mitch O’Farrell and Paul Krekorian announced this week.
The first motion, which was introduced by O’Farrell and seconded by multiple Councilmembers, directs staff to install signage at Hollywood Blvd and Western Ave, which is located in the Little Armenia neighborhood of the 13th District. The intersection is a key point for the annual genocide march, and commemorative events are held in cities around the world every April 24.
“This memorial square will honor the 1.5 million Armenians that perished, and the hundreds of thousands more that were permanently displaced, while serving as a daily reminder of what happened 100 years ago,” said Councilmember O’Farrell, who represents the 13th District. “The cultural, economic, and political contributions that have emanated out of Little Armenia for decades have helped make all of Los Angeles a better place, and understanding the history of the Armenian genocide makes us all more enlightened."
Vice Consul of Armenia Valery Mkrtoumian was on hand for the vote and spoke in favor of the motion and the significance of having this square in Little Armenia. The City Council also discussed additional plans to commemorate the 100th anniversary, including planting 100 pomegranate trees across the City and illuminating City Hall in purple for the week of April 24.
“This memorial shows that the City of Los Angeles is fully committed to commemorating the Armenian Genocide and educating people throughout the city about our community’s continued struggle for justice and recognition,” said Councilmember Krekorian, District 2. “Like so many others, members of my family survived the genocide and planted our roots in this great city. It is so important that we honor those who died so that we can preserve our history and prevent such horrors from happening again.”
The second item was a motion co-introduced by O’Farrell and Krekorian, and seconded by Council President Herb Wesson, that seeks to add April 24 to the Council Recess Calendar to coincide with this year’s march - which is termed March for Justice.
Organizers of the event are expecting it to take place on a much larger scale than the annual marches. It will start in the 13th District and stretch six miles through the 4th Council District, the City of West Hollywood, and then to the Turkish Consulate in the 5th Council District. Thousands of people from across the Southland are expected to participate in the event. Route details will be announced soon. [SEE: March for Justice]
The Genocide was committed by Ottoman Turkey in 1915, when 1.5 million Armenians were massacred and another half million were deported from their ancestral homeland of several millennia.
Greater Los Angeles is home to the largest population of Armenian-Americans in the United States.