As mentioned in my previous post, April 24th marks the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. While the United States as a whole does not formally recognize the genocide, most of the states do so individually. In Los Angeles, a large 6-mile march was held from Little Armenia to the Turkish Consulate.
Here in Arizona, the population isn’t as large and the awareness isn’t as strong. However, the St. Apkar Armenian Apostolic Church and the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church, in conjunction with Scottsdale Community College, memorialized the event by the unveiling of a Genocide Awareness Monument carved by Armenian artist Gaspar Gharibyan.
It was a somber moment. Those who attended wore mainly black, a color to represent mourning, and others wore purple, the color of the symbolic forget-me-not flower. Roses were handed out to attendees to place upon the monument and Eva Bukovinszky, a Hungarian musician, opened the dedication with a beautifully composed piece on the duduk, a traditional Armenian instrument.
Adorned by the letter Է (‘eh’), which means “God is”, the monument, carved in tufa stone (a traditional Armenian building material), wasn’t only to raise awareness of the Armenian Genocide, but all martyrs of genocides and holocausts of the past and present. Both Armenian and Native American symbols adorned the monument, to include those for eternity, the four corners of the earth, the four elements, and the continents where genocide had occurred.
In the center of the back of the monument is the Forget-Me-Not Flower, the official symbol of the Armenian Genocide Centennial.