Tatul Haakobyan

Official Conn. Genocide Commemorations to Focus on Karabakh War Repercussions


HARTFORD, Conn. — The Armenian Genocide Commemoration Committee of Connecticut program for 2021 will take place on April 24 at 10:30 a.m. virtually.

The program will commemorate the 106th anniversary of this horrific event and will remember the Holy Martyrs and survivors of the Genocide. Further the program will also provide insights into recent critically important events in Armenia and Artsakh.

The program will begin with the Martyrs’ Service which was created in 2015, on the occasion of the centennial of the Genocide and the canonization of the Martyrs. Clergy from all four Armenian Churches in Connecticut will participate in the service. The commemoration program will begin immediately after the service.

The flag of the Republic of Armenia will fly over the Connecticut state capitol for a week and the raising of the flag will be shown to attendees by video.

The program will begin with both the American and Armenian national anthems being sung by the choirs of Connecticut’s four Armenian churches: Armenian Church of the Holy Ascension in Trumbull, Armenian Church of the Holy Resurrection in New Britain, St. George Armenian Church in Hartford and St. Stephen’s Armenian Church in New Britain.

Tatul Hakobyan will speak on “Why did the 44 day war take place” and Lilly Torosyan will address the topic “From New England to old borders: A Connecticut Armenian’s personal account of the 44 day war.”

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Hakobyan is an Armenian reporter, independent political analyst and author, based in Yerevan, specializing in the Karabakh issue and Armenia-Turkey relations. He is an author of three books — Karabakh Diary: Black and Green, Armenians and Turks, The Valley of Death: 44-day catastrophe. He worked as a correspondent for the newspapers Yerkir, Azg, Aztag, The Armenian Reporter and as a political observer on regional issues of Radiolur news program of Public Radio of Armenia. Most recently, he was a reporter and an analyst at the independent Civilitas Foundation. He holds a degree in journalism from the Yerevan State University.

Torosyan is a first-generation New Englander and moved to Armenia two days before the Artsakh War began on September 27,  2020. She was assistant project manager of h-pem, Hamazkayin’s online platform to engage young diasporans in Armenian art and culture, and has previously written for the Armenian Weekly newspaper. She currently writes for EVN Report in Armenia. She holds a master’s degree in human rights from University College London and a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Boston University, where she served on the ASA Executive Board.

John G. Geragosian, Connecticut State Auditor, will serve as master of ceremonies.

Melanie Brown, chairperson of the Genocide Commemoration Committee, stated “We regret that the circumstances of the pandemic will not allow us to gather in person at the historic Hall of the House of Representatives as we usually do, but are grateful that we can assemble electronically to commemorate the Martyrs of the Genocide and help the world learn from this tragic event in human history. Moreover, the recent events in Artsakh underscore the need for the world to be ever vigilant, to remember and to condemn continuing human rights atrocities.”

The mission of the Armenian Genocide Commemoration Committee of Connecticut is to honor the memory of the one and a half million victims and also the survivors, of the Armenian Genocide begun by the Ottoman government in 1915.

The committee supports programs, events and the establishment of monuments, itself or with other organizations, in educating the public and remembering the Genocide. The committee also assists in the legislative mandate to provide Genocide related curricula in the public schools. Additionally, the committee seeks to present information about developments in the Diaspora and in Armenia.

Members of the Committee are: Melanie Brown chairperson, Rita Soovajian secretary, Diana Colpitts treasurer, Rev Fr. Archpriest Untzag Nalbandian, Rev Fr. Voski Galstyan, Rev Fr. Archpriest Aram Stepanian , Rev Fr. Garabed Telfeyan, Deacon Michael Sabounjian, Dr. Svetlana Babadjanyan, Hon. Evelyn Mukjian Daly, Professor Mari Firkatian, Hon. John Geragosian, Professor Armen Marsoobian, Sonia Gulbenk, Richard Arzoomanian, Attorney Greg Norsigian, Attorney Harry Mazadoorian, David Paparian, Richard Hamasian, and Kit Kaolian.

Pre-registration is required to obtain the zoom link. To register go to : https://bit.ly/3ti5iJ5

If you are unable to pre-register online or do not have zoom capability, call 860-651-0629.

This year, the Committee’s fundraising efforts will support FAR’s (Fund for Armenian Relief) House/Farm project in the southern Armenia city of Sisian for families from Artsakh.

FAR is acquiring 25 abandoned houses/farms, renovating them, providing furnishings including appliances, heaters, etc. and settling 25 families to work the land for income (domestic animals/poultry, plantings, etc.) to sustain themselves.

To motivate them to stay in Armenia, if they remain successfully for at least 5 years, FAR will give them ownership of the houses.

Anyone wishing to make a contribution to this effort, whether or not attending the Connecticut Virtual Program, may do so.

Checks should be payable to: “FAR Sisian AER” (Artsakh Emergency Relief) and mailed to: Armenian Genocide Commemoration Committee of CT, c/o Diana Dagavarian Colpitts, Treasurer 236 Oxford St., Hartford, CT 06105.


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