Armenians around the world today are marking the centennial of the genocide which claimed over a million lives beginning in 1915. FM 89’s Jason Scott reports the San Joaquin Valley’s Armenian community is remembering the somber occasion with hopes for the future.
On Thursday, the Maple Mall at Fresno State became the center of remembrance of one of the most tragic tales of the 20th century, as the university unveiled its new Armenian Genocide Monument.
Fresno’s honorary Armenian Consul Berj Apkarian told the crowd of over 1,000 that the Turkish government’s refusal to acknowledge the genocide is an assault on history and humanity. He hopes the monument will keep the memory of the tragedy alive.
Apkarian: “This monument will stand for generations, as Doctor Castro, mentioned to respect the dark tragedy of our fallen and at the same time, mark the bright light of our people.”
The monument consists of nine concrete pillars that represent different regions and time periods in Armenia. The top of the monument is a halo that is cut in half to represent the people who were killed in the genocide.
Fresno State President Joseph Castro says it’s the first college campus in the United States with such a monument.
Castro: “This monument is also a reminder of the perseverance and hard work of the Armenian community and others throughout the valley and the nation.”
The monument was paid for with privately raised funds.