LAS VEGAS — Despite 40-50 mph gusty winds, members of the Armenian-American community gathered at Sunset Park Armenian Genocide Memorial Monument for a Candlelight Vigil on April 24, 2021. This year, Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day was particularly significant with President Joe Biden’s formal recognition of the Armenian Genocide.
The Candlelight Vigil, Hosted by the Armenian American Cultural Society of Las Vegas (AACS) with the participation of all Las Vegas Armenian Churches and organizations, honored the 1.5 million martyrs on the 106th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. AACS Board Member and Master of Ceremony, Hermann Brumm invited Las Vegas Homenetmen Artsakh Chapter scouts for the flag presentation as Naree Asherian sang both Armenian and American anthems.
The invocation was led by Very Reverend Sasoon Zumrookhdian of St. Geragos Church, Rev. Artsakh Badoyan of St. Garabed Church and Pastor Sam Agulian of the Armenian Evangelical Church, accompanied by Der Vahan Gosdanian and Der Nareg Matarian.
On behalf of the Armenian National Committee of America – Nevada chapter, Lenna Hovanessian Esq. co-chair, welcomed Nevada elected officials, dignitaries and representatives of various organizations who participated in the vigil. Mrs. Hovanessian thanked President Biden’s formal recognition of the Armenian Genocide, ending denialism. Hovanessian also honored the 5,000 martyred soldiers of the 44 Day Artsakh War of 2020 under Azerbaijani and Turkish aggression. Prior to inviting Nevada Lieutenant Governor Kate Marshall to the podium, Hovanessian highlighted the importance of the current bill about Holocaust and Genocide education to be adopted by the Nevada Assembly.
Nevada Lieutenant Governor Kate Marshall had specifically flown from Carson City to participate in the vigil. In her remarks she thanked President Biden for acknowledging the Armenian Genocide and affirming Armenians’ right to justice and recognition of the truth. The lieutenant governor also expressed her support to teaching the truth about the Armenian Genocide by adopting the Holocaust and Genocide Education bill.
Clark County Commissioner Jim Gibson, City of Las Vegas Councilwoman Victoria Seaman and Councilwoman Michelle Fiore also took the podium in support of the Las Vegas Armenian-American community and presented Certificates of Recognition. Demi Falcon and Gerri Shroder, representing Nevada Congresswoman Dina Titus and Susie Lee addressed the vigil. Nevada Assemblyman Andy Matthews, District 37 was also present and expressed his support in adopting the Armenian Genocide Education Bill, and Assemblywoman Annie Black, District 19, presented a proclamation.