Members of the California Legislature, including State Sen. Scott Wilk, R-Antelope Valley, honored the 103rd anniversary of the Armenian Genocide on Monday.
“We commemorate the anniversary of the Armenian Genocide and the 1.5 million lives lost. What happened 103 years ago can never be undone, but through education we take steps to ensure that history never repeats itself,” Wilk said in a press release. “The strength of the survivors and their descendants is evidenced by the leaders, innovators and thinkers of Armenian descent who have enriched our communities and thrived both here in America and throughout the world.”
Earlier this year, the Armenian Caucus invited California high school students to participate in its 4th Annual Essay Contest. Students were asked to write an essay nominating a notable Armenian-American to the California Hall of Fame, who had a connection to the state.
This year, the third-prize winner was Odelia Justin, a senior at LA County Probation Camp Scott in Santa Clarita. She nominated her probation officer Azet Stepanyan, an immigrant from Armenia who ultimately motivated Justin to graduate college.
During the Senate and Assembly floor sessions, Wilk and Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian, D-Sherman Oaks, who is of Iranian-Armenian descent, honored Professor Richard Hovanessian as an outstanding Armenian-American and presented him with a Joint Legislative Resolution commemorating the genocide. Hovanessian is known for his five-volume history of the First Republic of Armenia and is a professor of Armenian and Near Eastern History at UCLA, with other esteemed academic titles.
The Armenian Caucus also provided Wilk and the other legislators with the book, “There Is Only The Earth” by Scout Tufankjian.