Armenian Weekly
Fri, Apr 30 2010

WASHINGTON-Armenian Americans from throughout the Southern Maryland,
Northern Virginia and Washington DC area joined together on April
18th at the Soorp Khatch Armenian Church Arabian Hall for the annual
community commemoration of the Armenian Genocide, hosted by the
Armenian Genocide Commemorative Committee of Greater Washington.

Participants young and old gathered to remember the 1.5 million
Armenians murdered by orders of the Ottoman Turkish Government,
honor the survivors, and recommit to efforts to secure justice for
the Armenian Genocide.

The Greater Washington Homenetmen Armenian Scout troop color guard
opened the program and escorted in honored guest, 105-year-old Armenian
Genocide survivor Yeretzgeen Sirarpi Khoyan.

Keynote speakers of the day included ANCA Eastern Region Board Member
Aram Sarafian, Esq. and Hamazkayin Armenian Educational and Cultural
Association Eastern U.S. Region Board member, Dr. Aline Baghdassarian.

Each focused on the role of continued community and political activism
to raise awareness about the Armenian Genocide and vigilance to
end the cycle of genocide-already seen in the 21st century with the
ongoing atrocities in Darfur.

Ms. Talar Kachechian was the Mistress of Ceremonies of the program
which included musical and cultural interludes presented by the
Hamasdegh Armenian School students, who performed moving renditions of
Taniel Varoujan's "Terenig," Gevorg Emin's "Der Zor," and Hovannes
Shiraz' "We Were Peaceful." The Hamasdegh Chorus sang several
songs including "Kedashen," Chelsea Erchenian presented a PowerPoint
presentation regarding the history of the Armenian Genocide, followed
by a closing prayer offered by Soorp Khatch Church pastor, Rev. Father
Sarkis Aktavoukian. Earlier in the day, Rev. Father Aktavoukian
had led the congregation in a special requiem service in memory of
the victims of the Armenian Genocide, attended by Tatoul Markarian,
Armenian Ambassador to the U.S. and other Armenian Embassy staff.

The commemorative program was part of a series of activities organized
by the local Armenian Genocide Commemorative Committee of Greater
Washington. Participating organizations include the Soorp Khatch
Armenian Church Board of Trustees, Soorp Khatch Ladies Guild, Hamasdegh
Armenian School, the ARF Sebouh Gomideh and its sister organizations
including the local Armenian National Committee, Armenian Relief
Society, Hamazkayine Armenian Educational and Cultural Association,
Armenian Youth Federation Seniors and Juniors, and Homenetmen
Armenian Athletic and Scouting Association. Homenetmen had held a
special program on April 16th marking the 95th anniversary of the
Armenian Genocide, with songs and poetry presented by the Homenetmen
Scouts and remarks offered by Armenian National Committee of America
Executive Director Aram Hamparian.