The 2018 Armenian Genocide commemorative event was held at the Alex Theater Tuesday night, organized by the city of Glendale and community partners to remember the 1.5 million Armenians killed 103 years ago by Ottoman Turks during the Armenian Genocide, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Keynote speakers included a producer of the genocide documentary “Architects of Denial,” Dean Cain, who, along with fellow producer Montel Williams, were previously denied advertising the film at the Americana at Brand until community pushback reversed the decision by mall officials.
Mayor Zareh Sinanyan chose not to share a story of the past but instead talked about the future, citing the recent resignation of former Armenian prime minister Serzh Sargsyan.
“This same energy and youth should be contagious to us here in the U.S., to continue living as productive members of society, as pro-Armenian Americans who are engaged in the future of this historic moment — then the diaspora will be powerful and so will Armenia,” he said.
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) also attended and spoke, having released a statement earlier in the day.
“Despite Turkey’s denials and protestations to this day, there is no historical debate and there can be no equivocation,” Schiff said in his statement. “By refusing to officially recognize the Armenian Genocide, America is simply not living up to its moral responsibility and undermining its leadership on human rights.”
Also in attendance were state Sen. Anthony Portantino and state Assemblywoman Laura Friedman.
President Donald Trump and past U.S. presidents have failed to recognize the massacre as a genocide.
The event also included English and Armenian performances by Rose and Alex Pilibos, LA Balfry Choir, the Davidian and Mariamian Educational Foundation and the Hamazkayin Ani Dance Co.