|North Hollywood, CA – On August 7, 2017, Assyrian-Americans from across southern California came together to Commemorate the 102nd Anniversary of the Assyrian Genocide. The Remember the Fallen, Empower the Future – August 7 Commemoration was hosted by the Assyrian American Association of Southern California and the Assyrian Genocide (Seyfo) Research Center.
The Commemoration opened with a flag processions by Assyrian Scout Troop 6732, followed by the reciting of the American and Assyrian Pledge of Allegiance. Kristina Assouri, served as the master of ceremonies and the event began with Assyrian Cor-Bishops George Bet-Rasho, Samuel Dinkha, Athanais Toma and Fr. Ashur Elkhoury reciting prayers and hymns in both English and Assyrian.
The annual memorial featured passionate speeches by notable speakers such as AAASC President Ramond Takhsh, AAASC Vice President Jon Koriel, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, California State Senator Scott Wilk, California Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian, Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Krekorian, ANCA-WR Chairwoman Nora Hovsepian, and AHC Executive Director Ioannis Fidanakis, as well as video messages from Congressman Adam Schiff and Congressman Brad Sherman.
“Between 1914 and 1923 over 3.5 million Armenians, Greeks, and Assyrian were murdered at the hands of two consecutive Turkish governments, 520 of which came from my ancestral village. Today, we honor their memory by joining together, Assyrians, Armenians, and Greeks to tell the world, they failed. The Young Turks failed, the Kemalists failed, the Ba’athists and Iraqi government failed, and today those who attempt to follow in their footsteps, with their extremist ideologies will also fail”, Fidanakis said.
Click here to view photos
Officially known as Assyrian Martyrs’ Day, August 7 originally marked the beginning of the 1933 Simele Massacre of Assyrians by the Kingdom of Iraq. However, today the 7th has come serve as a day of mourning for all martyred Assyrians, including the victims of the Armenian, Greek, and Assyrian Genocide
The evening closed with a Candlelight Vigil in remembrance of the millions lost during these tragedies, as the classic Assyrian hymns «Ya Nishra T’khoomeh» (The Eagle of Tkhooma) and «Ya Khoone, Qatokh Baydagh» (Oh Brother, The Flag) were performed. Services were followed by a reception, featuring artwork by artists Paul Batou and Fadi Khiyo, as well as numerous educational banners on the Assyrian Genocide.
The American Hellenic Council is a non-partisan advocacy organization, which champions Hellenic values and culture. Our primary goal is to promote Hellenism in the United States by supporting the cultural activities of the Hellenic-American community of Southern California and to raise public awareness of issues concerning the Eastern Mediterranean. AHC promotes democracy, human rights, and peace in Southern Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean, by informing the American public and public officials about on-going issues and conflicts, specifically about Greece and Cyprus.