The 100th anniversary of the start of the Armenian genocide will be marked Thursday and Friday with special Fresno-area events.
On Thursday afternoon, the section of Santa Clara Street from O Street to Van Ness Avenue will be renamed Armenia Street. The roadway is located where an Armenian neighborhood used to be.
Also Thursday is a somber evening service at Ararat Cemetery to remember the 1.5 million who died from 1915-23 when Ottoman Turks killed and relocated Armenians from their country. Thursday night is also the unveiling of the Armenian Genocide Monument at Fresno State.
Events continue Friday with the annual Armenian flag raising at Fresno City Hall and a commemoration service at St. Paul Armenian Church.
Fresno State President Joseph Castro has proclaimed Friday to be Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day at the campus. At 19 seconds past noon, the carillon in the University Student Union will play “The Bells of Peace” for 15 minutes, representing the year 1915, when the genocide started.
In Fresno Unified, “gardens of remembrance” are being created. Each middle and high school will take note of the genocide anniversary during morning announcements Friday. At lunch, participating students will create tulips, write “I will remember” on one side and their name underneath, and place them in the ground to form the garden.