Colorado announces Armenian Genocide centennial events

colorado-capitol-khachkarArmenians of Colorado, Inc. (AOC) in cooperation with local and national organizations, Wednesday announced the April 2015 events in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, Asbarez reports.

“We join Colorado’s vibrant Armenian community in commemorating the centennial anniversary of the Armenian Genocide,” stated Colorado Governor John W. Hickenlooper. “In 2013, the Colorado General Assembly and I authorized the installation of a replica Armenian khachkar to be placed on the Colorado State Capitol grounds in memory of the victims of the 1915 Armenian Genocide. We look forward to the April 24, 2015 unveiling of this beautiful monument.”

Leading up to that date there are a variety of lectures on the Armenian Genocide focusing on Turkey’s surviving Armenian heritage, Armenian orphan rugs and the geopolitical legacy of the Genocide. The Denver director of Facing History and Ourselves spoke in January on how they train educators to teach the Armenian Genocide. An exhibit of Armenian orphan rugs, accompanied with presentations by prominent experts Stephan Isberian and Hrach Kozibeyokian, was held in March.

Sona Hedeshian, president of Armenians of Colorado, Inc. (AOC), noted, “We pay tribute to the victims of this unthinkable crime, to Armenian people for their strong will to survive, to all those who raise awareness of the Armenian Genocide and preserve the Armenian culture through art and music. We are delighted to announce the premiere on April 21st of Emmy-winning composer Denise Gentilini’s musical “I AM ALIVE.” We, the Colorado Armenian community, are thankful for the longtime support of the citizens and elected officials of Colorado, past and present, who helped save thousands of orphans during and following the genocide, who have recognized the Armenian Genocide, and who helped make the khachkarat the Armenian Memorial Garden a reality. AOC is also grateful to Alexander Ter-Hovakimyan, the Executive Director of the Youth Foundation of Armenia, for donating the khachkar.”

Anahid Katchian Logue, chair of the Armenian Genocide Centennial Commemoration Committee, noted, “The events surrounding April 24, 2015 spotlight Armenians’ experiences before, during and following the devastation of the genocide, true to our theme of Survive, Revive, Thrive.”

Denver-based educator and Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region (ANCA-WR) community development coordinator Simon Maghakyan commended his fellow community activists. “We are extremely proud of our community for its monumental successes in educating Coloradans about the Armenian Genocide of 1915-1923, one of the 20th century’s greatest crimes against humanity. It will be an honor to gather with my community on April 24, 2015 and witness the unveiling of the Armenian khachkar at the Colorado State Capitol,” remarked Maghakyan.

Commemoration events will be held beyond the month of April, including a “Colorado We Thank You” gala in September and a 10th anniversary commemoration of the destruction of the Djulfa cemetery in December.

Armenians of Colorado, Inc. (AOC) was established in June 1980 as a 501(c)3 non-profit cultural organization. Its purpose is to create a cohesive Armenian community and to further the understanding of Armenian history, culture, language, customs, and heritage. AOC actively supports issues and concerns of the Armenian-American community in Colorado as well as those identified within the Armenian Diaspora throughout the world.

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