Armenian Genocide Martyrs Day

The Armenians of the Desert in Coachella Valley, California marked the 101st anniversary of the Armenian Genocide Sunday, April 24, 2016. This year’s highlight was the celebration of the sainthood of the Holy Martyrs of the Armenian Genocide. On Sunday morning, approximately 100 Armenians attended the Holy Divine Liturgy at St. Garabed Armenian Apostolic Church of the Desert.  Father Krikor held a unique ceremony in which he consecrated the Icon of the Holy Martyrs of the Armenian Genocide (The original of which was unveiled during the Canonization service at Holy  Etchmiadzin). Father Krikor spoke of the role of the Armenian Church throughout the centuries until today, and stressed on the importance of learning and upholding the values taught by the Church.  He encouraged everyone to learn the Armenian history and to sustain the link between the past and the present.

At the conclusion of the Church ceremony, attendees made their way into the Kirkjan Family Hall to watch a documentary about sainthood and martyrdom, prepared by the Eastern Diocese. After the documentary Michelle Torian entertained the public with a graceful and touching ballet performance, followed by introduction of distinguished guests and speaker.

We had 3 guests, the Mayor and two City Council Members: Gregory Pettie – Cathedral City Mayor Pro Tem, Shelly Kaplan – Council Member, John Aquilar – Council Member of Cathedral City, who presented us with a Proclamation.

Our guest speaker – Alexander Keledjian is an Armenian Activist for Genocide Recognition, and works for Los Angeles County Mayor Michael D. Antonovich.  His speech was inspiring and stimulating.

Father Krikor addressed the situation of the Armenians in Karabakh/Artsakh who need our prayer and support. Fr. Krikor expressed deepest condolences to the families of those soldiers who lost their lives as a result of the indiscriminate attacks by Azerbaijan.

By Alice Keshishian