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Remembering The 1915 Armenian Genocide
Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) A group of Twin Falls community members came together to remember one of the worst genocides in the 20th century.
Armenian community members gathered at the Twin Falls City Park to remember the history of their people.
They suffered through two genocides in the 20th century, and hope to educate others about the dangers of persecution.
"There's no future without history...without past," says Violet Nahapet. She explains, "This is a little community we have here but we get together on this day to remember the ones that were killed just because they were of Christian faith...just because they were Armenian."
The Armenian community here does not have a lot of people, but they have a lot of heart.
"We are the second generation of Armenians who went through genocide, but in a different area – in Azerbaijan. We're the ones that are the very blessed ones to have the opportunity to come into this country and have this beautiful freedom," says Nahapet.
This is the 98th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. Members of the Twin Falls Armenian community meet at the City Park every year to commemorate the event."
Mike Williams, City of Twin Falls says, "For the past several years, we've recognized April 24th as Twin Falls Armenian Memorial Day in support of our Armenian Community and the persecution that they suffered."
Mayor Greg Lanting was asked by a community member two years ago for the remembrance plaque and tree.
The mayor also issued a proclamation for the memorial day.
Nahapet says, "It's very important to us to have a place to come to remember because not only in 1915, but we lost our loved ones in 1988 through 1990."
"It's important that we embrace all the different cultures in our community because we want to be a welcoming community and welcome those from different cultures and backgrounds... and let them know we support them and want them to live and thrive here," explains Williams.
Historians estimate 1.5 million Armenians were killed by Ottoman Turks in the 1915 genocide.
President Barack Obama has called the event quote "one of the worst atrocities of the 20th century."