Thousands march in LA in memory of Armenian Genocide victims

Thousands march in LA in memory of Armenian Genocide victims

PanARMENIAN.Net - Thousands of people marched through Hollywood and the Mid-City area Wednesday, April 24 to mark the 104th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, again calling on Turkey -- and the United States -- to officially recognize that it occurred, Fox LA reports.

April 24, 1915 is the day when a group of Armenian intellectuals was rounded up and assassinated in Constantinople by the Ottoman government. On April 24, Armenians worldwide commemorated the 104th anniversary of the Genocide which continued until 1923. Some three dozen countries, hundreds of local government bodies and international organizations have so far recognized the killings of 1.5 million Armenians as Genocide. Turkey denies to this day.

Americans presidents have declined to do so, calling the deaths at the hands of the Ottoman Empire an atrocity, but not a genocide. President Donald Trump continued that trend Wednesday, releasing a statement honoring those who died, but failing to term their deaths part of a genocide.

"Today, we ... honor the memory of those who suffered in one of the worst mass atrocities of the 20th century,'' Trump said. "Beginning in 1915, one and a half million Armenians were deported, massacred or marched to their deaths in the final years of the Ottoman Empire. On this day of remembrance, we again join the Armenian community in America and around the world in mourning the many lives lost.''

Thousands of Armenians and their supporters gathered near Hollywood and Hobart boulevards for a march sponsored by Unified Young Armenians. The group marched in a rectangular route on Hollywood Boulevard, Normandie Avenue, Sunset Boulevard then back north on Hobart.

Another rally will be held outside the Turkish Consulate at 6300 Wilshire Blvd., in a gathering sponsored by the Armenian National Committee of America Western Region and a variety of other groups. Organizers said the event is staged ``to demand justice for the Armenian Genocide'' by "bringing Armenian demands directly to Turkey's official government representative in Los Angeles.''

More than 200,000 people of Armenian descent live in Los Angeles County, making the Southland home to the largest Armenian community outside of Armenia.

Despite calls by some legislators -- most notably Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Burbank -- for the federal government to formally recognize the genocide, U.S. presidents have long refused to do so. Former President Barack Obama, a Democrat, failed to recognize the genocide during his eight years in office, despite indications during his original campaign that he would do so.

Schiff on Wednesday called the failures by presidents of both political parties "shameful.''

"The denial of the genocide is an enduring wound to the Armenian people who descended from survivors to build lives here in the United States, in Armenia and around the world,'' Schiff said.

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