Boston prepares to commemorate 103rd anniversary of the Armenian Genocide

Armenian Weekly – Each April, the Armenian community of Greater Boston holds a number of commemorative events to honor and remember the victims of the Armenian Genocide and to voice the community’s demands for justice.

The target of this year’s programs, according to the committee’s two young co-chairs, will focus on coming together as a community, united against genocide.

“Each year, our committee aims to present a fresh program, full of new novel ideas—whether it is through different speakers, new dance and vocal performances, and so forth. This year’s program is to encourage and be able to connect with the community’s youth,” committee co-chair Saro Sakaian, an active member of various Armenian organizations and initiatives in the Boston-area, told the Armenian Weekly.

The commemorative event, open to the public, will be held at the Armenian Heritage Park on the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway on 3 p.m. on April 21. It will feature guests such as Massachusetts House of Representatives member David Muradian, editor of the Armenian Weekly Rupen Janbazian, among others.

“Our program, especially with our speakers, this year is to allow the youth to feel a sense of exigency and excitement by the time they are leaving the park. We hope to fill the park with young souls who are excited about the future and making a change,” Sakaian added.

Prior to the commemoration at the Armenian Heritage park, the local Armenian Youth Federation (AYF-YOARF) “Nejdeh” chapter in collaboration with the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) Sardarabad gomideh, have planned a demonstration, protesting Turkey’s ongoing denial of the Armenian Genocide.

The protest will take place at the Consulate General of Turkey (31 St James Ave., Boston, Mass. 02116) beginning at 1 p.m., after which demonstrators will march to the Heritage Park to take part in the commemoration.

According to the commemoration committee’s other young co-chair, Michael Demirchian, this year’s committee has taken all of the ideas from past years and integrated them to produce improved programs as well as improved efforts for publicity. “Our program lineup varies significantly from year to year adding new and exciting elements,” Demirchian, who is also active in a number of community organizations, added. “We have some first-time participants this year that we hope will truly inspire those in attendance to continue the fight, not just for one day each year, but for many years to come.”

Scheduled performers at the Heritage Park commemoration include Armenian-American rapper R-Mean, Zangakner Performing Arts Ensemble, with more acts to be announced.

A day before the protest and commemoration in the park, the 103rd anniversary of the Armenian Genocide will be remembered and commemorated in the annual Massachusetts State House Commemoration on April 20, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

A light breakfast will accompany an art exhibition prior to the State House program, and a light reception will follow the commemoration. More details about the annual State House Commemoration will be released in the coming days.

“We’re hoping we can create a new buzz around the events and increase attendance to collectivize our voice and truly stand united against genocide—not only for the Armenian Genocide but for all that have occurred and are still taking place,” Demirchian noted.

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