South Bay “Potorig” Chapter Hosts Genocide Museum
Lomita, CA Members of the Armenian Youth Federations South Bay Potorig Chapter organized the 2nd Annual Armenian Genocide Museum at the local South Bay Armenian Center, on Thursday, April 12th.
The Museum featured chronologically themed rooms portraying the history of the Armenian Genocide, through photographs, historical fact sheets, and replicated documents. An official program followed the exhibition open to the general public for one evening. The program concluded with a screening of the critically acclaimed documentary Grandmas Tattoos, which chronicles filmmaker Susan Khardalians journey to solve the mystery behind the tattoos that covered the face and hands of her grandmother.
The exhibit was widely attended by members of the community and civic leaders alike. Walking into the rooms, looking at some of the pictures, and reading some of the stories, it just took me to a whole other place. remarked Gardina Councilmember Tasha Cerda. Cerda conceded the Museum served as a benefit to the local community, It puts the awareness out there. People then could understand what happened, and as people begin to see they start talking.
Between 1915 and 1923, 1.5 million Armenians perished through systematic massacres, deportations, and death marches at the hands of the Young Turk regime of the Ottoman Empire. The government of Turkey has consistently denied the occurrence of these events despite the international communitys recognition of the historical facts and the apt classification of them as genocide.
Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen A. Trutanich, in his speech to attended guests asserted that, If we allow the world to forget the atrocities that man can impose upon another man, we are not a human race, weve lost our compassion. Trutanich made it clear that a just recognition of history was not only in the interest of the Armenian people but of the world, as only through understanding history can humankind prevent such atrocities from reoccurring. He further added, We need to have the assets that were stolen from the Armenian people, the Armenian churches, repatriated back to Armenia. That has to happen. Reparations are only a part of making the Armenian people whole.
Joseph Kaskanian, a member of the organizing committee, emphasized the importance of teaching South Bay residence about the small yet vibrant Armenian community. We wanted to reach out to the local community and educate non Armenians about our history.
Founded in 1933, the Armenian Youth Federation is the largest and most influential Armenian American youth organization in the United States. With chapters throughout the country and affiliates around the world, the AYF actively strives to advance the social, political, educational and cultural awareness of Armenian-American youth.
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