Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Unanimously Proclaims Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day

LOS ANGELES, CA – On April 9 2024, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a motion introduced by Supervisor Kathryn Barger and co-authored by Supervisor Hilda L. Solis to commemorate the 109th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. The motion designates April 24, 2024, as Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day.

Supervisor Kathryn Barger emphasized the significance of acknowledging and learning from the past. “Remembering the Armenian Genocide gives our diverse communities an opportunity to collectively acknowledge and mourn the loss of over 1.5 million innocent lives,” she stated. Barger further highlighted the importance of honoring the resilient Armenian community, particularly within her district, which hosts the largest concentration of Armenians and Armenian-Americans in the county.

The motion encompasses two key components:

Recognizing April 24, 2024, as “Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day” in Los Angeles County.
Instructing the Chief Executive Officer to collaborate with all County departments to promote events and educational materials related to the Armenian Genocide. This includes utilizing department websites and social media platforms to disseminate information and raise awareness.

During the Board meeting, community leaders voiced their support for the motion. Suzy Atityan, representing the Armenian Council of America, expressed solidarity and underscored the importance of commemorating the Armenian Genocide.

The unanimous approval of this motion reflects a commitment to honoring the memory of those who perished in the Armenian Genocide and to promoting education and awareness about this tragic chapter in history. Los Angeles County’s proclamation of Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day marks a significant step towards ensuring that the atrocities of the past are never forgotten.

The following are Ms. Atityan’s remarks during the Board meeting:

Good afternoon, I respectfully thank the board for providing us the opportunity to speak on behalf of the Armenian community. My name is Suzanna Atityan, and I am one of the executive board members for the Armenian Council of America. I am also a licensed attorney in the state of California, and as such, I have become accustomed to advocating for justice. I am here to speak in support of marking April 24th as Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day and to proclaim the month of April as Armenian History Month.

As we all know, for decades, LA county has been home to one of the largest populations of Armenians outside the sovereign country of Armenia. This beautiful city has been a safe haven for immigrants from all walks of life. This year, Armenians throughout the world will commemorate the 109th solemn anniversary of the Armenian genocide, one of humanities most atrocious acts of evil that the world witnessed in the 20th century.

As we mourn the memory of the 1.5 million Armenians who were persecuted and slain at the hands of the Ottoman and Kemalist Turks, as well as the thousands of Armenians massacred in Shushi, Baku, Ghaibalishen, Jamilli, Karkijahan, and Pahlul between 1918 and 1920, it is vital that we remember and celebrate the perseverance, strength, unity and resilience of the Armenian people, who through it all, have continued to flourish and contribute their talents to the preservation of art, culture, language, history, science, law, and medicine throughout the world.

While we express grief for those who have perished in the past by commemorating April 24th as Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day, we must honor their memory by continuing to celebrate our present and look forward to our future.

Allowing for the month of April to be recognized and celebrated as Armenian History Month will continue to inspire those who have experienced any form of oppression, hate and discrimination solely based on their ethnicity, race, or religion, to be proud of their heritage and share their differences with others.

Sadly, we live in times where such differences are not admired, but rather weaponized against one another.

Throughout varies parts of this great world, we are witnessing unimaginable violations of human rights and international law. Between December 12, 2022 and September 19, 2023, the Armenians of Artsakh endured a genocidal siege by the Azerbaijan government, which cut off power, food, and fuel supplies to over 120,000 Armenians—including 30,000 children and 20,000 elderly. In response, two orders regarding these illegal acts were issued by the International Court of Justice, and international outcry was reported, including by Luis Moreno Ocampo, the former International Criminal Court Prosecutor. Now more than ever, we must ensure that history is not tarnished by false narratives, or else we run the risk of further genocidal actions by those like the Azeri regime. As we speak, the safety and sanctity of the sovereign democratic country of Armenia is facing imminent genocidal threat from Turkey and Azerbaijan, with one goal in mind, the systematic and terroristic annihilation of a country and its people, while instantaneously seizing Armenian ancestral territory all in the name of “Turkifying” the region.

Proper recognition of the Armenian Genocide honors the memory and dignity of its victims and survivors, and – more broadly – rejects the use of human rights as a bargaining chip. We wish to ensure that ‘Never Again’ is not a mere slogan uttered by politicians.

Please let us remember that in order to prevent the unforgivable actions of the past, we must continue to acknowledge them in the present so we may build a more harmonious future.