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Football team Ararat visits Armenian Genocide memorial in Fresno – Video

Fresno State Armenian monument gives strength to FC Ararat Yerevan soccer team

Your Central Valley – April of 1915 is nearly 101 years away, but to the players on the Armenian soccer team the monument bridges the gap of time.

“It’s very sad for us to see this,”  said Tigran Gharabaghtsyan through a translator, Assistant Coach. “But the memory from what our grandparents have told us it was very sad and very unfortunate for the people that went through that.”

The team began their trip with prayer. Afterward they placed a flower around each pillar of the monument.

The pillars represent Armenian villages touched by the tragedy.

“This means a lot to us for our Armenian culture and for Fresno to invite us here and to make this monument for us so that the whole world knows we really appreciate this,” said Tigran Gharabaghtsyan.

Brandon De La Fuente is from California but plays on the Armenian team. He says seeing the monument brings his experience abroad full circle.

“I got to go to the monument they have in Armenia and it’s incredible pretty much the whole country goes there and brings flowers,” said Brandon De La Fuente, Player.

From 1915-1923 Armenians were treated as second-class-citizens and targeted by the Ottoman Turkish Empire.

The government put forth plan killing 1.5 million men, women, and children.

Barlow Dermugrdechian is the coordinator of the Armenian studies program at Fresno State. He talked to the team about the impact the monument has on the community.

“To come here really means its like home, so this is a piece of there own home. They traveled all this way and we were able to bring them to a place that they felt at home,” said Dermugrdechian.

After taking a team picture in front of the monument, the team left to get ready for their big game which starts at 6:30pm.

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