Montebello Genocide Memorial
|Armenian Genocide Martyrs Monument|
|Opened||April 21, 1968|
|Owner||City of Montebello|
|Height||75 feet (23 m)|
|Design and construction|
The Armenian Genocide Martyrs Monument, better known as Montebello Genocide Memorial, is a monument in Montebello, California in the Los Angeles metropolitan area, dedicated to the victims of the Armenian Genocide of 1915. The monument, opened in April 1968, is a tower of eight arches supported on 75-foot-tall (23 m) white concrete columns. The memorial was designed by Hrant Agbabian. It is the oldest and largest memorial in the United States dedicated to the Armenian Genocide victims. The inscription on the memorial plaque reads:
|“||Armenian Martyrs Memorial Monument: This Monument erected by Americans of Armenian descent, is dedicated to the 1,500,000 Armenian victims of the Genocide perpetrated by the Turkish Government, 1915–1921, and to men of all nations who have fallen victim to crimes against humanity.||”|
As part of the Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day, thousands of Armenians from different parts of Greater Los Angeles area and American politicians gather in Montebello memorial every year on April 24 and lay flowers to the victims of the genocide.
After the 50th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide in 1965, the Armenian community of Los Angeles decided to build a memorial, which would serve as a permanent location for commemorating the Armenian Genocide victims. They spent months looking for a site in the city of Montebello and came across land that the Bicknell family had dedicated to the city for public use. A group of Armenians led by Michael Minasian who was the founder of the Armenian Monument council started the process of exploring different architectural drawings. On January 12, 1967 the city Approved by a vote of 4-1 the design to build the Armenian Genocide memorial, the headlines read "CITY ACCEPTS PLANS OF ARMENIAN SHAFT". Armenians from around the world participated in the fundraising, which gathered $125,000.
According to journalist Garin Hovannisian, the building of the monument was a "milestone for the Armenians of the United States". Then he continues, "it had taken almost three years of city hall meetings, town hall debates, and community fund-raising to consecrate, in public park, a monument". He also notes that "ARF, Ramgavar, Armenakan, Apostolic, Catholic, Protestant, and every other category of Armenian converged at Bicknell Park for the opening ceremony". According to Hovannisian more than ten thousand Armenians attended the dedication ceremony. Then State Senator George Deukmejian, who would later become Governor of California, read Governor Ronald Reagan's proclamation.
- Ronald Reagan, President of the United States
- Serzh Sargsyan, President of Armenia
- Bako Sahakyan, President of Nagorno Karabakh
- Arnold Schwarzenegger, Governor of California
- Gray Davis, Lieutenant Governor of California
- Barbara Boxer, US Senator from California
- Adam Schiff, US Congressman
- Jackie Speier, US Congresswoman
- Grace Napolitano, US Congresswoman
- Judy Chu, US Congresswoman
- Michael D. Antonovich, Member of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors
- Antonio Villaraigosa, Mayor of Los Angeles, Majority Leader of the California Assembly
- Dianne Feinstein, California Senator
- Eric Garcetti, Mayor of Los Angeles
- Lee Baca, Los Angeles Country Sheriff
- Gil Garcetti, District Attorney of Los Angeles County
- Carmen Trutanich, Los Angeles City Attorney
- Charles Calderon, California State Assembly Majority Leader
- Bill Molinari, Mayor of Montebello
- Art Barajas, Mayor of Montebello
- Geoffrey Robertson, Intentional Judge and Human Rights activist
- Israel Charny, psychologist, historian and world-renowned genocide expert
- Jack Hadjinian Mayor of Montebello
- Mark Geragos, Armenian-American lawyer
- Sebu Simonian, Armenian-American singer
- Judy Chu, US Congresswoman
- List of Armenian Genocide memorials
- Armenian American
- History of the Armenian Americans in Los Angeles
- The official website dedicated to the centennial of the Armenian Genocide.
References and sources
- "History of the Armenian Genocide Memorial in Montebello, CA". United Armenian Council for the Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide Los Angeles. Retrieved September 1, 2012.
- Hovannisian 2010, p. 90.
- "Monument at Bicknell Park in Montebello, California". Armenian National Institute. Retrieved August 31, 2012.
- Martin, Marc (25 April 2012). "Marches and commemorations in Southland mark Armenian genocide". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 6 October 2012.
- Hovannisian, Richard (2008). The Armenian Genocide: Cultural and Ethical Legacies. New Brunswick, New Jersey: Transcription Publishers. p. 201. ISBN 978-1-4128-0619-0.
- Molina, Sandra T. (24 April 2012). "Thousands commemorate Armenian genocide at site of Montebello monument". Whittier Daily News. Retrieved 6 October 2012.
- Hovannisian 2010, p. 89.
- Hovannisian 2010, pp. 89–90.
- "Genocide Monument Freeway Signs Installed". Asbarez. March 24, 2012. Retrieved September 1, 2012.
- Pool, Bob (2 April 2011). "Freeway signs in Montebello take note of Armenian genocide". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 6 October 2012.
- Bobelian, Michael (2009). Children of Armenia (1st Simon & Schuster hardcover ed.). New York: Simon & Schuster. p. 133. ISBN 1416558357.
- "ANCA-WR JOINS COMMUNITIES ACROSS THE WESTERN US IN MARKING THE 95th ANNIVERSARY OF THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE". ANCA. Retrieved 24 May 2013.
- "7 000 Gather to Pay Tribute to Genocide Victims". Asbarez. 25 April 1997.
- "Elected Officials Call For End to Turkey's Gag Rule During Genocide Commemoration Event". Asbarez. Retrieved 24 May 2013.
- Wight, Pam (April 20, 2006). "Montebello remembers Armenian genocide". Whittier Daily News.
- "1,500 attend commemoration of Armenian genocide at Montebello monument". Whittier Daily News. Retrieved 24 May 2013.
- "U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein calls on Turkey to recognize Armenian Genocide". PanArmenian. Retrieved 24 May 2013.
- "LA County Sheriff visits Armenian Genocide Martyrs' Monument". PanArmenian. Retrieved 24 May 2013.
- Molina, Sandra. "Thousands commemorate Armenian genocide at site of Montebello monument Read more: Thousands commemorate Armenian genocide at site of Montebello monument". Whittier Daily News. Retrieved 24 May 2013.
- "MONTEBELLO ANC COMMEORATES GENOCIDE THROUGH MUSIC AND ART". ANCA. Retrieved 24 May 2013.
- "Events commemorating the 98th anniversary of the start of the Armenian Genocide". ANCA.
- Ghazanchyan, Siranush (24 April 2015). "Armenian community memorializes genocide victims, celebrates culture’s survival in Montebello". Public Radio of Armenia.
- Hovannisian, Garin K. (2010). Family of Shadows: A century of murder, memory, and the Armenian American dream. New York: HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-06-179208-3.