State Sen. Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery/Delaware) today hosted students from Radnor’s Armenian Sisters Academy at the Capitol Building in Harrisburg for his Armenian Awareness Day, which included a dance performance, cultural exhibit and press conference.
“I’d like to thank everyone who participated in and attended today’s event, especially the children who performed their beautiful Armenian dances,” he said. “Additionally, I appreciate the support from members of the Armenian community who work tirelessly to preserve the rich history of their culture and share it with others. I hope that everyone who attended today’s event had fun and, more importantly, learned something along the way.”
During the event, the Armenian Library and Museum of America located in Watertown, Massachusetts, displayed an exhibit titled “Who are the Armenians?”, and students performed songs and dances in the Main Rotunda.
Leach also held a press conference with speakers including George S. Yacoubian, Jr., National SOAR President; the Academy’s Chairman of the Board, Asadur Minasian; and David E. Edman, former chair of AIPAC Philadelphia Leadership Council and currently Managing Partner of Risk Management Partners, LLC in Wayne.
During the press conference, Minasian honored Armenia’s past as well as its cultural development. “The history of the Armenian people is long and complex. Throughout the centuries, this ancient civilization has been persecuted by neighboring countries and empires, but through the turbulence and foreign domination, Armenians have created a rich and beautiful culture,” he said.
Edman praised the performers and added a call to action on behalf of the Armenian people, who spent years as victims of persecution and genocide. “There is so much good in the world, and we saw it this morning on the faces of the children who performed here for us,” he said. But as there is good there is also evil, he noted as he recalled the Armenian Genocide and the Jewish Holocaust. “On the one hand, we are here to celebrate goodness, but on the other, we’re here to say ‘never again’.”
In the past, Leach has been vocal in his denouncement of the genocide that took place from 1915 to 1923. During that event, known as the Armenian Holocaust, the Turkish Ottoman Empire took the lives of 1.5 million men, woman and children of Armenian descent.
“Like our Jewish brethren, Armenian Americans living in Pennsylvania have greatly enriched this Commonwealth through their leadership in business, agriculture, academia, government and the arts,” he continued. “I hope today’s presentation served to remind us that we cannot move forward into the future without remembering our past.”