Candlelight Vigil Planned for Commemoration of Armenian Genocide

“So let us call genocide, genocide. Let us not minimize the deliberate murder of 1.5 million people. Let us have a moral victory that can shine as a light to all nations.”

-Congressman Adam Schiff


April 24 is the day of remembrance of the 105th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. Traditionally this somber event is recognized with performances by local schools that respectfully highlight this day that, for many, is a time not only to remember the atrocities that were suffered by the Armenian people but also to mourn the estimated 1.5 millions victims of the Genocide.

This year, the safer-at-home orders have forced organizers to find creative ways to remember the Armenian Genocide in the Glendale and Crescenta Valley.

The Meher and Satig Der Ohanessian Youth Center/Crescenta Valley Armenian Center – Armenian Genocide Task Force came up with an idea that will not only respect the memory of the victims of the Genocide but will also be a way the entire community can take part.

“We want everyone, from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. [tonight], to light a candle and [place it] in their window, front porch or front yard,” said Arick Gevorkian, Task Force member.

The candlelight event will be tonight Thursday, April 23 with other events planned for Friday, April 24.

From 1915 to 1923, estimations are that 1.5 million Armenians were killed by Ottoman Turks.

“The massacres were done by the government of the Young Turks and were later finalized by the Kemalist government. … In February 1915, the military minister Enver Pasha ordered to eliminate the Armenian soldiers serving in the Army. On April 24 and the following days, 800 Armenians were arrested in Constantinople and exiled to the depths of Anatolia. Armenian writers, journalists, doctors, scientists, clergymen, intellectuals including Armenian members of the parliament were among them. A part of them died on the way of the exile, while others died after reaching there. The first international response to the violence resulted in a joint statement by France, Russia and the Great Britain in May 1915, where the Turkish atrocities against the Armenians were defined as a crime against humanity and civilization. According to them, Turkish government was responsible for the implementation of the crime,” according to the Armenian Genocide Museum Institute Foundation.

Gevorkian spoke of the importance of remembering what happened to the Armenian people – not only important for the victims of the past but for the youth of the future. He added it was important to remember the resilience of the people who have suffered and the crimes against the Armenians, “lest we forget, history will repeat itself.”

Genocide has been a form of control over a specific race for many empires throughout history, which is why Gevorkian said it is so important to remember what happened to the Armenian people. It has happened, and unfortunately continues to happen, to other races.

File photo
In previous years, students from RD White Elementary School performed at a commemoration of the Armenian Genocide.

Members of the CV Armenian Youth Center are strong supporters of the community. They are members of the CV Prayer Breakfast Committee, support school organizations like PTAs, foundations, and Prom Plus, as well as other youth centers like the Fire House. During the holidays over the years they have donated hundreds of toys to the fire department’s Spark of Love toy drive.

They continue to help in the safer-at-home world.

“All our centers, including CV, are helping the community with [meeting] their needs. We go shopping for food for those [who can’t go out] themselves. Not just Armenians only but for all who are part of the community,” Gevorkain said. “It is one for all and all for one.”

During the candlelight vigil tonight, members of the Youth Center are asking the community to post and share a short video or photograph showing their participation in the vigil. Participants can use the hashtag #CVCandlelight Vigil so they can be shared on their Facebook page Crescenta Valley Meher Satig Der Ohanessian Youth Center.

On April 24, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., there will be another remembrance that will share past events that will be live streamed at

Tips and Disclaimer

For those who are using electric or battery-operated candles make certain to be cautious. Burn at your own risk. The CV Armenian Center has included a disclaimer: It is recommended to place a lit candle on a heat resistant coaster/surface to prevent any possibility of heat damage.

Safety tips according to the National Candle Association include: 1) Don’t walk away from a candle. Never leave a burning candle unattended. Make sure the candle is completely out and the wick ember is no longer glowing before leaving the room. (2) Secure the area. Never burn a candle on or near anything that might catch fire. Keep burning candles away from furniture, drapes, bedding, carpets, books, paper and flammable decorations. Keep hair and loose clothing away from the flame. (3) Keep from kids and pets. Make sure children and pets cannot reach burning candles. Do not place lit candles where they can be knocked over by children, pets or anyone else. (4) Avoid drafts, vents and air currents. This will help prevent rapid or uneven sooting and excessive dripping. (5) Don’t touch or move. Never touch or move a candle while it is burning or while the wax is liquefied. (6) Place burning candles at least three inches apart from one another. This is to make sure they don’t melt one another or create their own drafts that will cause the candles to burn improperly.

Organizers of this vigil, and CVW, assume no responsibility for any damage that may occur due to the misuse of candles and candle burning.