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APR 21 - APR 28, 2015

A True Armenian, Choolokian Delivers Message of Hope

April 21, 2015

Glenn Choolokian remembers his roots

A crowd of about 90 people, many of them members of the Armenian Diaspora, gathered at Cenotaph Park, on Main and Pine Ave last Sunday. They were organized at the call of Saint Hagop and Saint Sarkis Churches, and among them was City of Niagara Falls Mayoral candidate Glenn A. Choolokian.

They were there for the remembrance service of the 100 year anniversary of "The Great Crime," the 1915 Medz Yeghern, or, as it is known today, the Armenian Genocide.

Choolokian was there to remember the tragedy of his ancestors and what died inside the world April 24, 1915 when it all shockingly began, and the days that followed, ruthless killing of bold men, the butchery of innocents, the almost unbelievable human savagery as women and children, the old and infirm, were set upon the road to exile - no land, no place, nowhere on earth that was home.

The Medz Yeghern resulted in the deaths of 1.5 million Armenians in the Ottoman Empire, through forced exile and by murder. For the Armenians who survived, they were wanderers in the world.

He was not there to speak but to remember. But he was asked, so Choolokian stood before them, and spoke for a moment.

"Today should not only be a sad day for the Armenian people, but it also should be a day of remembrance," Choolokian said. "What the Turks tried to do to the Armenian people should never be forgotten.

"When I look at my family and all the Armenians that are around me, I know that all over the world proud Armenians are together, just like we are, here, today.

"This is proof that the Armenian people are strong, proud, and the Armenian heritage will always continue and survive.

"My prayers, and my family's prayers, go out to all the Armenians and to their families that were lost in the Genocide."

April 24, 2015 marks the one-hundredth anniversary of the beginning of this international tragedy.

People the world over, as they will in the City of Niagara Falls, will pause this month to remember those who were murdered, and those who were lost, whose fate to their own families is forever unknown, or were exiled, destitute, to work in strange lands, knowing they would never again kiss the earth that had lain before them - Armenia - since the time of the great great grandson of Noah.

The Medz Yaghern - this Great Crime - almost obliterated the first of all Christian nations.

For wounds like this, like any wholesale human degradation or brutal treachery against the clean spirit of man, such things as slavery, or genocide, or the tyrant's war against his own, 100 years is not too long to remember the faces of the dead.

Even where everyone who fought and suffered and their children's children gone to wizened graves, the wounds don't heal, or they heal slowly, though centuries, down generations, as every new generation takes a portion of the sorrows of their fathers.

Choolokian called upon "the citizens of Niagara Falls to work to advance the values of tolerance and freedom in our city, country, and world."

The Armenian Genocide was one of the true cruelties of the modern world.






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Publisher and Editor in Chief: Frank Parlato
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