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Category Archives: Armenian Genocide

Armenian Genocide Commemorative Events in Florida

Tampa, FL

On Wednesday, April 24th, St. Hagop Armenian Church of Pinellas Park, FL hosted a commemoration of the 104th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.

Parishioners gathered for the remembrance of the Holy Martyrs of the Armenian Genocide. “It was a truly moving evening,” stated Rev. Fr. Hovnan Demerjian, pastor of St. Hagop Armenian Church. Mallory Maslar, St. Hagop Parish Council Vice-Chair, organized the commemorative event with the events committee.

An Armenian Genocide Exhibit from the Florida Holocaust Museum was also on display with the assistance of George Kamajian. Michael Shahnasarian and his wife Jean, who chairs the events committee, provided the fellowship. Photography provided generously by Teresa Haidarian and video by Art Ekizian.

Boca Raton, FL

Ft.Lauderdale, FL

Orlando, FL

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Florida Armenians Participate in ‘Together We Remember’ Community Vigil in Boca Raton

BOCA RATON, FL – On Tuesday, April 16, a group of local and national human rights activists, community leaders, elected officials, religious leaders, teachers and students gather in Sanborn Square for “Together We Remember: The Future of Our Past,” reported Florida Armenians.

David Estrin, Founder and CEO of Together We Remember, organized the second annual universal commemoration program in Boca Raton. “April is Genocide Awareness Month,” Estrin said. “So it’s important that we all come together this time of year to commemorate our past and take action for the future,” he said.

The program began with the reading of names of victims of various genocides, including the Armenian Genocide, as well as victims of hatred, bigotry, discrimination and gun violence in the world. Arsine Kaloustian, Chairwoman of the South Florida Armenian Genocide Commemoration, Inc. (AGC) read the names of genocide victims. Lonny Wilk, Senior Associate Regional Director, Anti-Defamation League-Florida read the names of victims of hatred, bigotry, discrimination and gun violence. A local student from the Boca Raton Interfaith Youth Association read the names of lynching victims in Florida.

Congressman Ted Deutch (D-FL), whose district includes the cities of Boca Raton and Parkland, gave the keynote address. His remarks focused on the meaning of “Never Again” today and how individuals learn from one another and take collective action.

The program also featured musical interludes from Shine MSD, students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

 

The program also featured an expert panel of religious leaders, community activists, and academics who discussed their respective community’s experience with genocide, violence, and hatred. Panelists included Liz Vocasek, Associate Education Director, Anti-Defamation League-Florida; Rev. Fr. Andrew Sherman, Pastor of St. Gregory’s Episcopal Church of Boca Raton, Florida; Taniel Koushakjian, Editor of FLARMENIANS.com; Darren Levine, Teacher at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School; and Rabbi Leonid Feldman, Temple Beth El in West Palm Beach, Florida. The panel was moderated by Antonella Regueiro, Assistant Professor at Lynn University.

To conclude the program, participants were encourage to take action in their own way. Some took action by writing to their elected officials from their smart phones. Others shared stories and pictures on social media to amplify the message. Some pledged to write letters to their local newspapers.

At the end, everyone listened to the stories of each other, engaged with people they had never met, and people came together to say in one voice: “We Remember” and “Never Again.”

For more photos, check out the Florida Armenians Facebook Page Photo Album.

You can also watch two video clips from the event here and here.

In Memoriam: Melkon Tersakian

Melkon Tersakian, a 35-year resident of Boca Raton and Deerfield Beach, passed away prematurely on March 29, 2019. He was 65 years old. He leaves behind a son Michael, a daughter Olivia of Deerfield Beach, a sister Marta Batmasian (James) of Boca Raton, as well as nephews, cousins and relatives all over the world.

Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, April 2, 2019 at 11:00am at St. David Armenian Church, 2300 Yamato Road, Boca Raton, FL 33434. Burial service will follow at Boca Raton Cemetery, 451 SW 4th Ave., Boca Raton, FL 33431.

Following services, family and friends are welcome to a memorial meal (hogejash) in Mardigian Hall, St. David Armenian Church.

In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Melkon Tersakian may be made to St. David Armenian Church.