Dozens of Armenian Americans and supporters congregated in LOVE Park Friday to commemorate the 100th anniversary 1915 Armenian Genocide.
Some wore red duct tape over their mouth with the word, “denial,” written across it.
After a brief prayer led by local Armenian Clergy, those in attendance sat for 100 of minutes of silence. A minute for every year since 1.5 million Armenians were killed. Most gathered in the northwestern end of the park while others, such as Apry Minasian, sat with sign and taped mouth amongst tourists snapping photos in front of the LOVE sign.
Organizer Angela Aghajanian highlights that the while some 20 countries officially recognize the mass killing of Armenians by the Ottoman empire as the first genocide of the 20th century, the U.S. currently does not.
“Unfortunately Turkey has a gag rule against the U.S,” Aghajanian says, “it probably has something to do with U.S. and Turkey relations and needing a stronghold in the Middle East.”
Signs by those in attendance and Aghajanian say that President Obama pledged to officially recognize the Armenian Genocide if elected president, a promise he has yet to fulfill.
Most recently Pope Francis recognized the genocide in his Sunday mass on April 12th and the European Parliament adopted a resolution Wednesday, April 15th commenting the centennial and urging Turkey to recognize the genocide.