Armenian Genocide anniversary culminates with commemoration at Fresno State


Wednesday marked the 104th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. Hundreds from around the valley joined city leaders, religious leaders and dignitaries in a series of events.

It culminated on the campus of Fresno State at the Armenian Genocide monument.

Speeches and tributes headlined the commemoration where the scars of the 1.5 million lives lost is still at the fore-front of the Armenian community

It was a day of reflection and remembrance.

“We’re commemorating the Armenian genocide and we’re at the location of the only Armenian Genocide monument on a university campus,” Joseph Castro president of Fresno State said. 

The crowds spanned generations — all brought together laying flowers and taking in tradition.

“It’s a togetherness of all of us in the United States. We’re all family,” Helena Samourian said. 

“My grandfather was a survivor and the personal stories of my grandfather — my grandfather’s story was really horrendous,” Alain Ekmalian said

He said his grandfather watched his own mother’s murder along with other horrifying acts. “What bothers me is countries that do not accept that this has happened,” he said. 

Elected officials were also in attendance speaking out, pushing for recognition of the genocide. 

“It’s important that we never, ever forget,” Fresno congressman Jim Costa said. 

Ekmalian said this anniversary touches him every year when he remembers what his family went through.

“Hearing those stories and I’m trying to pass that on to my family, to my relatives that are a young generation,” he said. 

Congress has yet to recognize the Armenian Genocide but Costa and others continue to push. He said he’s hopeful it will happen this year. 

For local and breaking news, and to get weather alerts, download our FREE mobile app from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

CBS47 On Your Side

Do you have a problem that you need help solving? Contact CBS47 and let us be On Your Side.

Phone: 559-761-0383

Don’t Miss

Sunday Service
Best of the Valley
Sunday Morning Matters
MedWatch Today
Hispanic Heritage
Bulldog Insider: The Podcast
The Valley's Armenia
Pros Who Know

Images from Armenia

Small patients in Armenia
Yerevan by night.
Dr. Jeff Thomas delivers.
Dr. Jeff Thomas delivers in Gyumri.
Doctors unpack medical supplies from The Central Valley.
Fresno Medical Mission at work.
Medical Supplies being unloaded.
Fresno Medical Mission at the ready.
KSEE24 crew witnesses the miracle of life in Gyumri, Armenia.
Life saving work of Central Valley surgeons in Armenia.
Ribbon cutting on new surgical center in Ashtarak Armenia. Fresno donors made this dream come true.
KSEE24 on assignment with the Fresno Medical Mission
Honorary Consulate to Armenia Berj Apkarian explains the crisis facing one hospital.
KSEE24's Stefani Booroojian and Kevin Mahan at the meeting with President Bako Sahakyan.
Medical Meeting in Artsakh.
The President of Artsakh meets with the Fresno Medical Mission.
Learning modern medicine techniques with the Fresno Medical Mission in surgery.
Leaning in for a look. Dr. Brien Tonkinson holds class and helps a patient in Armenia.
Fresno Medical Mission cares on one of the smallest patients in the region. Six-year old Yanna receives life-changing better breathing surgery.