Asbarez – On April 10, the Orange County Board of Supervisors unanimously adopted a resolution whereby they acknowledged and commended April 24th as Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day throughout the county of Orange.
In attendance for the special presentation were representatives from St. Mary and Forty Martyrs Armenian Apostolic Churches, AGM Armenian School including Principal Sanan Shirinian, members of ANCA OC chapter, ARF and other community organizations, representative from Assemblyman Steven Choi’s office, and of course Marty Simonoff, Armenian-American currently serving his 6th consecutive term on the Brea City Council.
Chairman Andrew Do, presided over the ceremony and after his opening remarks introduced Board of Supervisor Michelle Steel to present the resolution. She reiterated the importance of recognizing the Armenian Genocide and by acknowledging such tragic events in our history we can prevent them from recurring. She went on to read the resolution once again marking April 24th as Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day in the County of Orange.
She then introduced Father Karekin Bedourian from Forty Martyrs Armenian Church who thanked the Board of Supervisors for again recognizing this important day for Armenians, and all peoples throughout the world. He emphasized that had the world done something earlier about this horrific event we might have prevented other atrocities from occurring after World War I.
Long-time friend to the Armenian-American community of Orange County, Brea City Councilman Marty Simonoff took the podium and also expressed his gratitude to the Board of Supervisors. He explained that this is a very personal day for him because he lost many family members during that time period, that his grandmother was a survivor of the Armenian Genocide, and he grew up hearing stories about the pains they endured.
Taline Jermakian spoke on behalf of the Orange County Chapter of the ANCA saying:
Honorable Chairman Do and Our Board of Supervisors,
Thank you, once again, for recognizing the historical facts of the Armenian Genocide and holding this commemoration of that tragedy when in 1915, 1.5 million Armenian men, women, and children were murdered at the hands of the ottoman government. Through this recognition, we also remember the survivors, which included over 100,000 orphans, who turned to countries like the United States for help and graciously received it.
The surviving Armenians, a people reborn from the ashes of systematic annihilation, built communities around the world with churches, centers, organizations and schools like we have here in Orange County. This allowed the first Christian nation to preserve its culture and heritage while continuing to seek justice. For the victims of this atrocity to ever become whole again, the perpetrators must be held accountable through admission and reparations. By recognizing the Armenian genocide, and other tragedies, we vow together to not let such horrific events happen anywhere on this Earth ever again.
Once again, on behalf of the Armenian American community of Orange County, we whole heartedly thank each of you for your moral compass, understanding; for your willingness to do the right thing and unwavering position. And of course, a special thank you to the honorable Michelle Steel, for making sure the County of Orange continues to recognize the Armenian Genocide.
The Board of Supervisors first adopted a similar resolution in 2015 on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide; and has continued marking April 24th as Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day ever since.