After attending an Armenian private school for 14 years of my life, I have become educated and enriched with Armenian facts and history, which include constant reminders of the importance of the Armenian genocide. I feel that I am obligated in executing my part in commemorating the Armenian genocide.
As a junior at CSUN, I have become a new addition to Alpha Omega Alpha sorority within the past year.
For the first time, I feel I am making a difference which I owe to my newfound membership of this organization.
I have come upon a group of strong, hardworking women who put passion and dedication in everything that they do.
In the short three years they have been around they have not given in to any negative stereotypes or allowed anyone’s opinion to prohibit their desires in growing and developing.
For three years they have been commemorating and educating in the hope of evoking acceptance and knowledge about the greatest tragedy of their history.
This year I took part in preparations for the lawn display, which was carried out jointly by Alpha Omega Alpha sorority and Alpha Epsilon Omega fraternity, led by the Armenian Fraternity Sorority Council. Our display is comprised of white crosses with carnations, and a bloody pathway of bones leading to a noose.
Each cross represents approximately 5,000 people killed.
The red carnations are a symbol of memorial and respect, and the bloody pathway of bones as the road of exile many took toward their gruesome death. The lawn display we have set up may seem inappropriate to some. It assimilates a cemetery in the middle of a university establishment which students walk upon daily.
A green field has been transformed into a public statement, a display crying out for attention, in an attempt to provoke thought in any way, shape or form. It is controversial but it is our necessary means in pinpointing our message.
There was nothing pleasant about the massacres of 1915 and therefore they cannot be commemorated in any other way. We have put on such a grotesque display as our call to our audience to educate themselves, to be aware, to cast away their ignorance and to understand the magnitude of destruction this genocide brought on to our people.
April 24, 1915, was marked as the most horrendous day in the history of Armenians because our leaders, poets, artists and, above all, intellectuals were murdered that day.
During the genocide, 1.5 million people were killed, murdered, tortured, beaten, executed, hanged, raped and tormented.
There was no escape to the turn of events that led to a bloody massacre under the jurisdiction of the Ottoman Empire.
Ninety-one years later, justice has not been served. We, as a small portion of the Armenian youth living in the Diaspora, are handed a duty based solely on our identification as Armenians.
We are forever indebted to our ancestors to play our part in gaining acceptance and recognition worldwide.
Alisa Ashikian is a psychology major. Responses can be sent to the opinion editor at email@example.com.