Pasadena Council unanimously approves Armenian Genocide Memorial in Memorial Park

In front of dozens of supporters from the local Armenian community, the City Council Monday unanimously approved a proposal for a memorial dedicated to the 1915 Armenian genocide, which will be erected in Memorial Park, the Pasadena Star-News reports.

Thirty-six people submitted comment cards to speak before the council Monday night, the majority of whom spoke in favor of the project, which would be completed by April 24, 2015 to mark the 100th anniversary of the slaying of 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman Turks. In addition, 93 others in attendance signed a petition of support submitted to the council. More than 1,000 other community members signed an earlier petition in support of the project submitted to the city.

Former Pasadena police chief Barney Melekian, who is also on the Pasadena Armenian Genocide Memorial Committee, said the monument is an important commemoration of an event in Armenian history that many, including the U.S. government, do not recognize as a genocide.

“Most people have no idea of the significance of April 24, part of this is because the Turkish government continues to deny that this event ever happened,” Melekian said. “This memorial should not only be a memorial to the past but it should serve as a beacon for future generations to ensure they do not forget not just the Armenians but all victims of injustice.”

The city has officially recognized and commemorated the anniversary of the Armenian genocide for 30 years. In May 2012, a group of local Armenian leaders came together to form the Pasadena Armenian Genocide Memorial Committee (PASAGMC) and submitted an application for the memorial in May 2012. The final design, by Pasadena Art Center Environmental Design student Catherine Menard, was chosen from 17 proposals submitted in a design competition held in the fall of 2012.

The memorial design consists of a sculptural tripod from which a drop of water would fall every 21 seconds into a basin beneath it. Approximately 1.5 million drops will fall over the course of a year. The tripod would be surrounded by stone paving, benches and a formal hedge in a circular pattern. It would be 28 feet in diameter and 16 feet in height.

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