Armenian Genocide Commemoration in Philadelphia

The Armenian Diaspora and the international community from the Philadelphia area and beyond will unite to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of Armenian Genocide. Three events will take place in Philadelphia to educate the public on Turkish denial of the atrocities committed against the Armenians by the Ottoman Empire from 1915 to 1918, where 1.5 million Armenians perished.

On April 12, 2015, Pope Frances declared Armenian Deaths the ‘First Genocide of the 20th Century’ during mass held in St. Peter’s Basilica to mark the 100 years since the killings. A number of countries officially recognize the killings as genocide, however the Republic of Turkey denies the genocide and goes to great lengths to conceal the events, including relentless lobbying operations to persuade nations not to recognize the genocide, desecrating historical Armenian churches and monuments in Turkey, disrupting academic conferences and public discussions and attempting to exclude the Armenian Genocide from American textbooks, but has failed with many of them.

On Saturday, April 18, 2015, the 8th Annual Philadelphia Armenian Genocide Walk will take place. The event will start with a showing, from 11:00am to 1:00pm, of the Near East Foundation Traveling Exhibit “They Shall Not Perish,” inside the Liberty View Ballroom inside the Independence Visitor’s Center. Along with the exhibit, there will be a social media station to provide an opportunity to participate in the various campaigns ongoing to support genocide recognition. Representatives from various local Holocaust and Genocide Studies programs will be in attendance.

The walk will start at 1:00pm on the lawn of the Independence Visitor’s Center in Historical Philadelphia and walk through the streets. At the conclusion of the walk, a special Centennial program will be held on the lawn of the Independence Visitor Center. This year’s program will be hosted by Eva Pilgrim of the 6abc Action News Team. The program will include Phil Holtje of the Holocaust Awareness Museum and Education Center, State Senator Daylin Leach, and Congressman Patrick Meehan. There will also be a performance by students of the Armenian Sisters Academy in Radnor, PA.

On Friday, April 24, 2015, a silent sit-in called 100 Minutes in LOVE Park will be held, starting at noon. April 24th is the day commemorated as the beginning of the Armenian Genocide 100 years ago. Attendees will gather at JFK and N. 15th in downtown Philadelphia and sit in silent commemoration for 100 minutes. After participants will continue to congregate in LOVE Park passing out educational packets to the public. Later in the evening at 6:30PM, the entire Armenian community in greater Philadelphia will gather for a candle light vigil at St. Sahag and St. Mesrob Armenian Church in Wynnewood, PA.

All events will take place rain or shine. For the walk program, in-door arrangements have been made in the Liberty View Ballroom in the event of rain. The events are free and open to the public.

These events will complement various other events and efforts by the Armenian community (and supporters of the Armenian community such as local universities and churches, other ethnic communities who have also been subject to genocide, etc.) in April leading up to Armenian Martyrs Day on April 24th, including multiple billboards, including the one posted on I-76 at the Spring Garden exit.

WALK – Saturday, April 18th, 11:00am – 4:00pm

Independence Visitor Center

Liberty Ballroom: 1 N. Independence Mall West, Philadelphia, PA 19106

Lawn: Market side, between 5th and 6th Street

http://www.phlvisitorcenter.com/

SILENT SIT IN: 100 Minutes in LOVE Park – Friday, April 24th, Noon – 2:00pm

LOVE Park

JFK Boulevard and North 15th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102

CANDLELIGHT VIGIL – Friday, April 24th, 6:30pm

St. Sahag and St. Mesrob Armenian Apostolic Church

630 Clothier Road, Wynnewood, PA 19096

LINK: Visit www.recognitionnow.org for event information for the portfolio of Armenian Genocide Centennial events as well as the walk. More information on Genocide Centennial: http://armeniangenocide100.org/en/

SOCIAL MEDIA:   Facebook: facebook.com/AGWPhilly

Instagram: instagram.com/armeniangenocidewalk

Armenian Genocide in today’s news:

Pope Francis Divine Mercy Sunday Mass To Mark Historic Killings during Armenian Genocide

http://www.ibtimes.com/armenian-genocide-centennial-pope-francis-divine-mercy-sunday-mass-mark-historic-1876272

Amal Clooney takes on Armenian Genocide in European Court: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/armenia/11341003/Amal-Clooney-takes-on-Armenia-genocide-case-in-European-court.html

Rock Band System of a Down launches “Wake up the Souls” Tour to promote Armenian Genocide Recognition –to include concert in Armenia:

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/features/system-of-a-down-serj-tankian-armenian-genocide-new-album-20150108

Kim Kardashian to remember victims of Armenian genocide on trip to Yerevan

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/apr/08/kim-kardashian-to-pay-tribute-to-victims-of-armenian-genocide-on-trip-to-yerevan

George Clooney: Armenian Genocide Hasn’t Been Acknowledged

http://www.cnn.com/videos/world/2015/03/11/orig-oth-george-clooney-power-couple-zef.cnn

George Clooney Supports the 100 Lives Campaign: https://100lives.com/en/stories?gclid=CP-lyey16sQCFdQ8gQodUEcA3A

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