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Blessing the ground: Armenian Genocide Memorial in Pasadena

Concept design of the Armenian Memorial in Pasadena.
Concept design of the Armenian Memorial in Pasadena.
Courtesy Pasadena Armenian Genocide Committee

Pasadenans are familiar with signs that go up in April, recalling the genocide of more than 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottomans that began on April 24, 1915. Soon there will be a permanent memorial in Pasadena’s Memorial Park. A blessing of the ground will take place on Sunday, April 27 at 6 p.m. in a public ceremony at the park, located on Walnut Street and Raymond Avenue.

“This unique memorial pays tribute to the fallen martyrs and their descendants in the diaspora,” said Bernard K. Melekian, a member of the committee and former Pasadena Police Chief. “It will stand as a testament to faith, courage and perseverance.”

Situated at the north side of the park, the memorial will open in April, 2015 to mark the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide over a three-year period. It was approved by the Pasadena City council in September, 2013. As well as commemorating the genocide, it condemns all crimes against humanity.

Donations to help fund the memorial can be made to a special fund established through the Community Foundation of the Verdugos for the Pasadena Armenian Genocide Memorial. For more information about the Pasadena Armenian Genocide Memorial visit or call (626) 795-1750.

“I encourage the greater Pasadena community to attend this important event,” said former California Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, who serves on the Pasadena Armenian Genocide Committee. “This Memorial will offer a place for reflection, hope and inspiration.”

Retired U.S. District Court Judge Dickran M. Tevrizian will serve as Master of Ceremonies and the consecration will be performed by Hovnan Derderian, Archbishop of the Western Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church, and Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian of the Western Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church. Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard and California Assemblyman Chris Holden will be among the elected officials at the event.

Choirs from the Sahag Mesrob Armenian Christian School in Altadena and the Armenian General Benevolent Union High School in Pasadena will sing.

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