Around the world on Friday, tens of thousands of people of Armenian descent commemorated the genocide 100 years ago of 1.5 million Armenians by Ottoman Turks. The annual April 24 commemorations mark the day when the mass killings started. An estimated 1.5 million died in massacres, deportations and forced marches that began in 1915 as Ottoman officials worried that the Christian Armenians would side with Russia, its enemy in World War I. The event is widely viewed by historians as genocide. Turkey denies the deaths constituted genocide, saying the toll has been inflated and that those killed were victims of civil war and unrest.
I brought George today to tell him that our ancestors were killed in this genocide. When I die, my son will teach his children until we get our rights.
Agop Djizmedjian, a 52-year-old supermarket employee who brought his 5-year-old son George to a service in Beirut
Tens of thousands of Lebanese of Armenian descent marched the stretch of several miles from an Armenian church in northern Beirut to a soccer field where the commemoration service took place. In Jerusalem’s Old City, Armenian priests held a mass at St. James Cathedral, their chants rising to the sky in the cavernous centuries-old church adorned with hundreds of metal lamps as light filtered from the dome windows. Thousands of people marched in Los Angeles to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the killings. Many joined a six-mile walk from the Little Armenia neighborhood to the Turkish Consulate, carrying flags and signs.