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Fresno City Hall Armenian flag-raising commemorates genocide

Armenians continue to stand for justice 104 years after genocide

The Armenian community in Fresno gathered at City Hall to commemorate the victims and survivors of the Armenian Genocide with a flag-raising ceremony.
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The Armenian community in Fresno gathered at City Hall to commemorate the victims and survivors of the Armenian Genocide with a flag-raising ceremony.

Several observances were held Wednesday in Fresno to commemorate the Armenian Genocide, including an annual flag-raising at Fresno City Hall.

The raising of the U.S. and Armenian flags is a symbolic gesture of unity. The event, held annually since 2004, is organized by the Armenian National Committee of America-Central California and held on the Day of Remembrance for the killing of 1.5 million Armenians by Ottoman Turks from 1915-18.

Alice Petrossian, chairperson of the ANCA–Western Region education committee, gave the keynote address. Event organizers say Petrossian is an immigrant who did not speak a word of English when she arrived in the U.S. but devoted her career to education and particularly working with disenfranchised, minority and limited-English speaking students. Her awards include the Ellis Island Medal of Honor. Petrossian remains connected to Armenia through her yearly volunteer work and lectures at American University of Armenia.

Members of the Sassoon Chapter of the Homenetmen Scouts and the local Junior ROTC served as the color guard, accompanied by the Association Of The United States Army “Sounds Of Freedom” Military Concert Band.

Fowler City Councilman Karnig Kazarian served as master of ceremonies.

Other Fresno events included a noon observance by the Armenian Students Organization of Fresno State and an evening commemoration, both at the Armenian Genocide Monument at Fresno State.

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