By Crissi Jelladian
The Armenian Genocide is an event in history that most would like to forget, but because Turkey denies its crimes, Armenian pain continues to linger. April 24 is filled with terrifying realities of our past. This is the day that we remember our ancestors that were tortured so long ago. Many children and even adults are uneducated when it comes to this issue, but there are ways to learn about what happened to the Armenians, and eventually many other races.
Here at Fresno State we are fortunate to have a very well developed Armenian Studies Program. This allows students like myself to become aware of their culture both historically and spiritually. Taking full advantage of these opportunities I have enabled myself to understand the feelings behind this morbid day. Until recently, I had never taken part in the commemoration of the Armenian Genocide because I was uneducated and unaware of this matter.
The Armenian Student’s Organization (ASO) preparation for this one day took several weeks of planning. The ASO’s participation in both Holy Trinity Church and Fresno State’s activities took a great deal of time and energy, and the end results were well worth the efforts. Most people would think that to commemorate an event so tragic in one’s own history, that all Armenians would join together, however this was not the case. Unfortunately, many voiced of their disapproval’s on how things were being handled for the day of the 24th, but no efforts were put forth to aid those who were attempting to honor those who died. It was sad to see that for one day so important in Armenian history that people could not put their differences aside and just join together as one united group to honor those who have passed. All races, not only the Armenians must realize that to accomplish something, they must all work together.
Participating in this year’s commemoration of the Armenian Genocide was a first for me, but definitely not the last. Although there were hardships, I learned to put those feelings aside and continue to assist in the organization of our programs. Marching, speaking, listening, praying, or simply just taking a moment to remember, are all wonderful methods of commemoration. Success, high achievements, and support for one another are what I believe to be the ultimate form of honoring our ancestors. As long as the Armenian heritage continues to stand strong, there is nothing that can permanently break our bond.