Western Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Church of North America – March 2015
On the occasion of the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide (1915-2015), the Board of Trustees of Ararat Home of Los Angeles, a home for Armenian elderly, organized a commemoration and Celebration of Life to honor the Home’s centenarian residents as well as the survivors of the Genocide on Thursday, March 12, 2015.
Two of those residents, Mrs. Rose Garjian and Mrs. Yevnige Salibian, are survivors of the Genocide and were honored by the USC Shoah Foundation in 2012 and 2014, respectively.
At 10:30 a.m. the Diocesan Primate Archbishop Hovnan Derderian officiated a Requiem Service (Hokehankist) at the Sheen Memorial Chapel. Archbishop Derderian was accompanied by Archpriest Fr. Hovsep Hagopian and Rev. Fr. Nerses Hayrapetyan. Clergy of the Armenian Catholic Church and the Armenian Evangelical Union in the greater Los Angeles area also participated in the Requiem Service.
A tree planting ceremony was also held in Heritage Courtyard by Ararat Home residents.
Following the dedication, a memorial luncheon was held at the Deukmejian Grand Ball Room. The program included a musical performance by heavenly chants flute and harp duo, Salpy and Sossy Kerkonian.
Board Chairman Joseph Kanimian, Esq. commended the meticulous planning and efforts of the Co-chairs of the Ararat Home Armenian Genocide Centennial Commemoration Committee, Maggie Mangassarian-Goschin and Nadya Verabian, and the participation of Committee members Debbie Avedian, Ani Dikranian, Nora Hampar, Margarita Kechichian, Varsenik Keshishyan, Rita Noravian and Kohar Mardirossian Pelter, who have worked diligently to immortalize the memory of the victims of the first genocide of the 20th century and to celebrate the revival and resurrection of the Armenian nation.
In his remarks the Primate reflected on the 1.5 million martyred lives of our ancestors and the Christian spirit of the survivors of the Armenian Genocide. “The Requiem Service at Ararat Home bears a special significance for it is in this very place that we meet the survivors of the Genocide who share with us the turmoil of their lives but equally enrich our lives with their zeal and vision as survivors.
Today, we extend our gratitude to our beloved Chairman of the Board of Trustees Joseph Kanimian, Esq. who has taken the leadership to honor the survivors and to pay homage to the memory of the martyrs.”
The second commemoration event themed “Celebration of Life” will reflect on the survival of the Armenian nation by highlighting the testimonies and life stories of the Home’s centenarian residents, which will be presented by the future generation of Armenians students from Los Angeles area Armenian day schools. It will be held on Sunday, March 15, 2015, at 3:00 p.m., in Deukmejian Grand Ballroom on the Ararat Home Mission Hills campus. Mr. Gerald S. Papazian, Chairman of the Armenian Film Foundation, will serve as the Master of Ceremonies, and Dr. Stephen D. Smith, Executive Director of the USC Shoah Foundation-The Institute for Visual History and Education, will deliver the keynote address. The program will also include a film clip presentation by Emmy Award winning documentary filmmaker Bared Maronian, a performance by multi-faceted artist Dr. Vatche Mankerian as well as by tenor Raffi Kerbabian. Near East Relief archival photos not seen in public for nearly a century will be on exhibit. The program will conclude with a Celebration of Life dance performance by Hamazkayin Nairi Dance Group.