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Marlborough School Student Newspaper
The Student News Site of Marlborough School

The UltraViolet

The Student News Site of Marlborough School

The UltraViolet

Los Angeles remembers the Armenian genocide

Sophie+staff+illustrator.
Sophie staff illustrator.

April 24 marks Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day, a time to honor and remember the lives of the Armenian Christians who were killed in systematic attacks by the Ottoman Empire (modern-day Turkey) from 1915 to 1917. 

The Armenian Genocide resulted in over 1.5 million lives lost and is often referred to as the first genocide of the 20th century. In 1915, the Ottoman Empire had control over many different ethnic and religious groups, including Armenia. In spring of 1915, the Ottoman Empire initiated mass killings and attacks on the Armenians living in the Empire because they wanted Muslim Turks to be the sole inhabitants of the empire.

The population of Armenian Christians living in the Ottoman Empire fell from between 1.5 and 2.5 million to 400,000 in just two years. The local massacres, which began in early 1915, placed Armenians under conditions of dehydration, starvation and disease, and removed tens of thousands of Armenian children from their families and forcibly converted many of them to Islam.

The Armenian Genocide today is denied by the Republic of Turkey. The Turkish government operates under the pretense that Armenians took up arms against their government, making the mass murders of Armenian citizens and children justified. However, according to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Ottoman government feared that during World War I invading forces would “induce the Armenians to join them” and in the spring of 1915, “the Ottoman government began the deportation of the Armenian population.” 

Los Angeles has the second-largest concentrated population of Armenians worldwide with 200,000 Armenians in the city who mark the national holiday to remember the millions of lives that were lost.

“I use this day to reflect on the lives cut short and the role human intolerance plays in history,” Head of the Armenian Student Association (ASA) Josiah Cameron said.

In Glendale, California, an annual event is held at the Alex Theater that commemorates the people who died in the genocide. The theater shows curated segments to educate and raise awareness about these tragic events. On April 24, schools in Glendale had the day off to focus on remembering the lives of those lost. Starting in 2020, the LAUSD Board of Education also closes schools on Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day.

“Together, we stand committed to preserving the memory of those lost in the Armenian Genocide and building a better future, rooted in understanding and empathy,” said LAUSD Board Member Kelly Gonez.

Not only is the official policy of the Turkish government, as well as some of Europe, still in denial of the genocide, but Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day only began to be recognized by the United States in 2021.

At Marlborough, Director of Equity and Inclusion Jenn Wells aimed to raise cognizance around the event in the school community. She sent a school-wide email regarding Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day with resources for students to educate themselves about what happened and why.

“Each year on April 24, we join many communities and nations in observing Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day, reflecting on a profound tragedy in our world’s history,” Wells wrote.

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Frankie 27
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