Armenian Genocide March

“Քալեցին, վազեցին մինչեւ հասնին, նոր երկիր որ նոր կեանք սկսին։”
“They walked and ran until they reached a new country to start a new life.”

The British Armenian community, mirroring the act of many other diasporan Armenians around the world, walked in memory of the Armenian Genocide on Saturday 26th April. 1,200 came together and began walking, with their 99 year-old-wounds still fresh and searching for justice. The march, led by the Homenetmen Scouts and community dignitaries, was in commemoration of the 99th anniversary of the atrocities inflicted on the Armenians by the Turks. Armenians of all ages walked, in memory of their forefathers who were forced out of their homes and off their ancestral lands to endure the long and gruelling walk through the Syrian desert of Der Zor, without food, water or the end in sight. Our march through London, although insignificant in comparison to the torture suffered by our ancestors, was symbolic of this death march.

The route, which was longer than it has been for the past few years, began at Marble Arch and ended at the Cenotaph. We crossed many high traffic sites, including Piccadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square, attracting attention to the cause through our many placards, flags and flyers, which were distributed amongst the public by the young participants of the march. In true British style, we experienced a variety of weather, from the warm sunshine to a small burst of April showers. The passion and untameable anger of the Armenian people was such that the stewards could hardly contain us.

The Եռագոյն, the Armenian flag, was our guiding light through Central London. The Armenian presence in the city led to many road closures and attracted much attention. The end point was the Cenotaph War Memorial, where wreaths were laid by notable community leaders on behalf of the Armenian Community Council UK, the Embassy of the Republic of Armenia, the Diocese of the Armenian Church in the UK & Ireland and the Armenian Genocide Centenary Commemoration Committee. Following this, we united once more, this time in prayer and for the singing of the Armenian National Anthem. The event ended with a powerful roar from the people, chanting “Կեցցէ Հայաստան“.

Like all Armenians around the world, we wait for the day when we can say that the Armenian Genocide has been recognised, and April 24th may be a day of peaceful memorial and not one that requires demands for justice and truth.

— AYF London

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