By Taleen Babayan
NEW YORK — Thousands gathered for the Armenian Genocide Commemoration in Times Square on Sunday, April 28, as the 104th anniversary of the massacres was memorialized in a monumental event sponsored by the Knights and Daughters of Vartan.
Calls for recognition were made throughout the afternoon as speakers, guests and the general public paid homage to the holy martyrs of the Armenian Genocide. Over a century later, the vigor of the Armenian people was on full display as the program culminated in a symbolic circle dance inspired by the powerful singing of Elie Berberian as he performed the popular patriotic song Kedashen amid the backdrop of the city’s skyscrapers and the buzzing motion of Times Square, one of the busiest and iconic districts in the world.
While Armenian songs, dances and voices echoed throughout New York and into the world, top US elected officials stood their ground in their unwavering support of Armenian Genocide recognition. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), who appears at the commemoration year after year without fail, conveyed his fondness for the “wonderful and compassionate Armenian people” and appreciated their presence in the country, stating that “the more Armenians we have in America, the better America will be.”
Following a moment of silence for the victims of 1915 and their descendants, Schumer urged the public to “call out evil.”
“A genocide that is not properly defined and remembered will certainly lead to another,” said Senator Schumer, who touched upon the Holocaust that succeeded the Armenian Genocide. “We have a moral obligation to always remember one of the most evil undertakings in the history of mankind, and that is the horrible Medz Yeghern.”