Today across East Hollywood, Glendale and elsewhere in Southern California, Armenian-owned businesses will shut their doors in honor of the 1.5+ million who were killed in the Armenian Genocide.
April 24 marks the anniversary of that day in 1915 when Ottoman Turks arrested over 200 community leaders, intellectuals and influential men in the Armenian community, who were subsequently jailed and later executed. Many historians believe the systematic killing of Armenians started many years before 1915, but this event, which was intended to weaken the community by removing its thinkers and leaders, marked the symbolic and obvious beginning of what was to unfold over the next eight years.
Thousands in the Armenian community will wear black and take to the streets of Little Armenia (along Hollywood, Normandie, Western and Sunset) in a march and rally at noontime today to call to the attention of the occasion, and to protest the Turkish government's longtime refusal to officially recognize the Genocide.
Though the observed start of the Genocide was in 1915, the issue still makes headlines today, especially weeks ago when President Obama visited Turkey. The handling of the issue caused much controversy both in and outside the Armenian community.
Tomorrow, during the East Hollywood Earth Day Festival, at 11:00 a.m. a Canary Island Pine tree at Santa Monica and Vermont will be dedicated to the memory and legacy of assassinated Turkish Armenian journalist Hrant Dink.