Thursday, Thanksgiving morning, some two dozen committed compatriots are meeting at Glendale’s Deukmejian Park to embark on a Genocide centennial 100 kilometer hike through the Angeles National Forest and San Gabriel Valley, arriving at Montebello’s Armenian Genocide Martyrs Monument in Montebello’s Bicknell Park.
These walkers will be joined by others over the course of the four day journey and finally by over 30 bicyclists and a dozen motorcyclists at the foot of the hill on which the monument is built.
Months of organizing have led to this unprecedented cooperative effort and significant moneys being raised through sponsorships gathered by the participants to fund the publication of the first volume of a series covering Armenia’s architectural heritage, region by region. This volume is dedicated to Hayotz Tsor in Van.
Enabling the walkers are a group of dedicated “Trail Angels” who are tending to all sorts of support functions, from food to tents to transporting gear from one night’s campground to the next. The Forest’s district ranger, Mike Macintyre, has been extremely helpful in guiding organizers through the rules and necessities of the Forest, especially given the danger of fire.
“Our committee has been at work since April assembling the pieces of this solemn Tribute. Anyone who wants to participate in just the last day’s walk from Altadena’s Farnsworth Park to the monument can still register at, www.100kmtributemarch.com,” explained Garen Yegparian, one of the organizers. “We need a few more donations since we’re at 80% of the target needed to publish the book we’re funding. Please help out. You can use the ‘donation’ tab on our website.”
Fittingly, the mayors of the cities where the Tribute starts and ends are Armenians, Glendale’s Zareh Sinanyan and Montebello’s Jack Hadjinian. They are participating in the opening and closing ceremonies, respectively. Organizers invite everyone to join Tribute participants Thanksgiving morning for a brief, 6:30am, program in Deukmejian Park, sending the walkers off into the mountains. Similarly, at the end of the Tribute, approximately 1:00pm on Sunday November 20, the community is invited for the procession up the hill to the monument with the walkers and riders.