On Monday, April 17, 2017, ANCA-WR leaders, members, and Armenian-American activists traveled to Sacramento to participate in the commemoration of the 102nd anniversary of the Armenian Genocide at the California State Legislature and meet with elected officials to advocate for our cause. On behalf of H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, Very Rev. Fr. Barouyr Shernezian and Very Rev. Fr. Dajad Ashekian participated in the special sessions at the State Assembly and State Senate. Fr. Dajad delivered the Prelate’s invocation and message at the Senate session.
The first commemoration was held at the State Assembly, where Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian introduced AJR 3 recognizing and commemorating the 102nd anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. The State Senate session followed, during which Senator Anthony Portantino presented SR 29 which passed unanimously. The resolution recognizes and commemorates the Armenian Genocide, calls on Washington to follow California’s leadership, and asks Turkey to return church property back to its rightful congregations. It is the first legislative resolution urging Turkey to restore properties to the Armenian Church.
Very Rev. Fr. Dajad Ashekian began the prayer by thanking the California State Legislature for the annual tribute to our holy martyrs. As we continue to witness religious and ethnic persecution in parts of the world, Fr. Dajad prayed for the conversion of hearts from hatred to love, brotherhood, and peace, and for the day when all peoples of all faiths and ethnicities can coexist in harmony, with mutual respect and tolerance for one another’s beliefs and background. “Though over a century has passed since the Armenian Genocide perpetrated by the Ottoman government, a crime against humanity to date largely unrecognized and unpunished, we place our faith, trust, and hope in You Lord that we will soon prevail in our righteous cause of raising awareness of this and all genocides, so that we can finally see justice for all victims and an end to the destructive cycle of genocide which continues to plague humanity,” stated Fr. Dajad, thanked our elected officials for their united efforts, support, and solidarity, and wished them continued successes in their service.
The day also featured a reception with The Promise director Terry George and a screening of the film.