South Florida Armenian American Community Commemorates 96th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide


Boca Raton, FL – Last week, hundreds of members, friends and human rights activists from the South Florida Armenian American community commemorated the 96th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide at Florida Atlantic University (FAU).

This year’s observance culminated the month long display of the 21-panel Armenian Genocide exhibition on loan to FAU Libraries from the Florida Holocaust Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida. The exhibition displayed the systematic murder of 1.5 million Armenians in Ottoman Turkey during World War I. The panels showcased photographs, quotes from witnesses and the history and legacy of the genocide.

“It was truly inspirational to see South Florida Armenians from three generations come together to honor their fallen ancestors of the 1915 Armenian Genocide,” stated Arsine Kaloustian-Rosenthal, Public Affairs Director. “The importance of remembering, sharing of stories between families, and of course the FAU exhibit itself, stands in the face of genocide denial and advances the cause of genocide prevention,” stated Kaloustian-Rosenthal.

Armenians around the world commemorate the genocide on April 24, when in 1915 Ottoman Turkish authorities rounded up, arrested and murdered over 200 Armenian intellectuals in Constantinople (Istanbul), Turkey. Over 1.5 million Armenian men, women and children perished in 1915-1923 in what historians recognize as the Armenian Genocide.

Rev. Fr. Vartan Joulfayan, Dr. Mary Johnson, Dr. Rose Gatens, Very Rev. Fr. Nareg Berberian

Dr. Mary Johnson, Senior Historian with Facing History & Ourselves, and curator of the Armenian Genocide exhibit, served as master of ceremonies. Dr. Johnson opened the program with special thanks to Dr. Rose Gatens, Director of the FAU Center for Holocaust and Human Rights Education. Dr. Johnson spoke about her experiences teaching the Armenian Genocide and the consequences of its denial.

“The response of the Armenian community to the exhibition on the Armenian Genocide at Florida Atlantic University was incredible,” Dr. Johnson told “Visitors not only examined the panels and the narrative of the history but talked about the exhibition and its implications for today – this ensures that the historical event will be remembered and future generations will continue to tell the story,” concluded Dr. Johnson.

On behalf of St. David Armenian Church, Garen Kalender, Rita Vartanian and Kaliana Maronian presented traditional Armenian poetry. Mr. Albert Mazmanian offered remarks while his daughter Natalie recited her self composed poetry. A musical interlude was offered by local talents from St. Mary’s Armenian Church, Sage McBride (violin) and Marineh Alikhnyn (piano) who performed the famous Armenian composition Groung by Komitas. A short screening from the upcoming film “Orphans of The Genocide” was also presented by south Florida film producers Bared Maronian, Bedo Der-Bedrosian and Paul Andonian.

“Having the commemoration program and exhibition at FAU Library was a wonderful opportunity to teach others about the origins and the history of the Armenian Genocide, a major crime against humanity committed by Ottoman Turks at the dawn of the 20th Century,” stated V. Rev. Fr. Nareg Berberian. “We pray that the time will come when justice will be served and Turkey will acknowledge its history,” stated Fr. Berberian.

V. Rev. Fr. Nareg Berberian of St. David Armenian Church and Rev. Fr. Vartan Joulfayan of St. Mary Armenian Church offered the memorial service for the victims of the Armenian genocide. The South Florida Armenian Genocide Commemoration was held under the auspices of St. David Armenian Church of Boca Raton, St. Mary Armenian Church of Hollywood, the Armenian Assembly of America, the Armenian National Committee and the Knights of Vartan.


NR: 2011-001

Photo Caption (L-R): Rev. Fr. Vartan Joulfayan, Dr. Mary Johnson, Dr. Rose Gatens, V. Rev. Fr. Nareg Berberian


About Florida Armenians

News, updates, and happenings in the Sunshine State's Armenian-American community!

Posted on May 6, 2011, in Armenian Church, Armenian Genocide, Events, News, Press Release and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: