RIDGEFIELD, N.J. (A.W.)—Hundreds of community members gathered in Ridgefield for the commemoration of the 101st anniversary of the Armenian Genocide on April 23. The event, which was held at the Sts. Vartanantz Armenian Apostolic Church hall, was organized by the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) “Dro” Gomideh.
Special guests included Armenian’s ambassador to the U.S. Grigor Hovhannisyan, ARF Bureau member Khatchig Mouradian, His Grace Bishop Anoushavan Tanielian Vicar General of the Eastern Prelacy, as well as representatives of various organizations, including the Armenian Democratic Liberal (Ramgavar) Party, the Armenian Relief Society (ARS), the Homenetmen Armenian General Athletic and Scouting Union, the Hamazkayin Armenian Cultural and Educational Society, and the Armenian Youth Federation (AYF).
Prior to the commemoration event, the Dro Gomideh held a reception in honor of the newly appointed ambassador Hovhannisyan, during which representatives of various community organizations had a chance to meet the ambassador and introduce him to the various activities within the Armenian community of New Jersey.
Following the reception, a special prayer service was held by Bishop Tanielian to honor the 1.5 million victims of the Armenian Genocide, as well as the fallen Armenian servicemen on the front lines in Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabagh Republic/NKR) in the past month. Following the prayer, attendees participated in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Armenian Genocide monument outside the church’s entrance.
After welcoming remarks, Master of Ceremonies Ani Melkonian introduced Ambassador Hovannisyan, who conducted his address in Armenian and in English. During his address, the ambassador urged those present to never forget the Armenian Genocide and praised the unity of the Armenian people during the latest escalation of violence in Artsakh.
Following Ambassador Hovannisyan’s remarks, ARF Bureau member Khatchig Mouradian addressed the crowd. He started his remarks by saying, “The road to justice for the Armenian Genocide passes through Artsakh.” In his remarks, he emphasized that a democratic and strong Armenia—and Artsakh—are crucial for the Armenian cause. Bishop Tanielian then spoke about the significance of the will, determination, and faith of the Armenian people. Representing the AYF, Yervant Keshishian then spoke about the importance of the Armenian youth and the need for their dedication to the Armenian cause.
During the commemoration, students of the Nareg School of the Sts. Vartanantz Church recited poems, while the Hamazkayin “Arekag” children’s choir performed Armenian patriotic songs.
Source: Armenian Weekly Mid-Atlantic