Burbank holds annual Armenian Genocide commemoration and flower laying ceremony

The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) held its annual Armenian Genocide Commemoration and Flower Laying Ceremony on the steps of Burbank city hall, and citizens and representatives of Burbank all made an appearance, My Burbank reports.

The program began with a demonstration from the scouts of the Burbank Armenian Youth Center, all diligently lined up and marching with Armenian flags held steady. Ranging from toddlers to teenagers, each speaker at the commemoration made a note that the policies they push forward are to provide better opportunities for Armenian youth like them. 

The ceremony had several guest speakers, including ANCA Burbank chair Sarkis Simonian, Assembly Member Laura Friedman, Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger, Burbank Mayor Nick Schultz, Vice Mayor Nikki Perez, Councilmember Konstantine Anthony, School Board Vice President Armond Aghakhanian, councilmember from the city of Yerevan, Samvel Hakobyan. 

Each speaker highlighted a key message: Remembrance of the past is never enough unless one is conscious of the problems of the present. Many paid respects not only to the Armenian genocide of 1915 but to the loss of Armenian lives and land in the Artsakh war with Azerbaijan. Further, they emphasized how the impacts of that war are still being felt today, as the Armenians of Artsakh are being displaced and unable to access life-saving necessities like food or water. 

Simonian started the commemoration off by asking for two things from the federal government. Firstly, the transfer of money to Azerbaijan and Turkey should be halted, and secondarily, the resources should be allocated to aiding Artsakh. That same message was echoed by Schultz as he stated, “We too will not stand with those who commit genocide.” 

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