NEW HAVEN, Conn. — The Yale Armenian Network (YAN) held an outdoor candlelight vigil on the 108th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide on Monday, April 24 at 7:30 p.m. outside Sterling Memorial Library at Yale.
Each year on the date considered to be the beginning of the Armenian Genocide of 1915, YAN conducts a commemoration ceremony to honor the memory of the one and a half million victims of the Genocide perpetrated by the Ottoman government as well as to remember the survivors.
YAN is a student led association that fosters and promotes Armenian culture and heritage to the Yale community. Its mission is to connect all Armenians at Yale in friendship and support. YAN aims to foster awareness of the culture of Armenia and the issues faced by Armenians today.
Mariam Alaverdian and Pateel Jivalagian, co-presidents of YAN jointly organized the commemoration. Alaverdian is a graduating senior at Yale College pursuing a BS in applied mathematics and Jivalagian is a graduating master’s student at the Yale School of Public Health. The event was made possible with the help of the YAN Genocide Commemoration Committee. Alaverdian and Jivalagian stated “As descendants of Armenian Genocide survivors, we recognize our duty to arrange a commemorative event for the Yale community in honor of the 1.5 million lives tragically lost and to acknowledge the lasting trauma endured by numerous survivors. Our objective for this event was not only to pay tribute to those affected but also to educate the public by sharing the personal stories of our members and shedding light on the atrocities committed against our nation.”
The Rev. Archpriest Untzag Nalbandian, pastor of the Armenian Church of the Holy Ascension in Trumbull started off the commemoration with a prayer service. Kit Kaolian of Milford, a subdeacon at Armenian Church of the Holy Ascension assisted in the service. Before his prayer service Nalbandian addressed the students saying “I appreciate that you, the Armenian students at Yale University organized this important event to remember our victims and also to educate others about the 1915 Armenian Genocide. Unfortunately, 108 years later we see how Armenian Artsakh is under blockade by the Azeri Government and the 120,000 Armenians living there cannot even go to Armenia, let alone any part of the world. And this is happening today in front of the eyes of the civilized world. We must raise our voice to prevent future Genocides.”
A current blockade of the Lachin corridor, Artsakh’s only link to Armenia, began on December 11, 2022, threatening the very existence of those ethnic Armenians who are thus unable to access, water, food, medicine and fuel.