The New York “Hyortik” and “Moush” and New Jersey “Arsen” chapters of the Armenian Youth Federation organized a memorable march and vigil on Saturday, September 25, 2021 in Union Square Park to honor the first anniversary of the Artsakh War and to call for the release of the illegally imprisoned Armenian POWs who remain captive in Azerbaijan. This march brought much-needed awareness to the human rights violations executed against the Armenian people, the illegal imprisonment of over 200 Armenian POWs, and the ongoing aggression and unlawful territorial claims by Azerbaijan against the Republic of Armenia.
The commemorative event began with a march from St. Illuminator’s Cathedral to Union Square, followed by a short program and candlelight vigil. Chair of the Manhattan “Moush” Chapter, Talene Sagherian, welcomed and thanked everyone in attendance. The Armenian and American anthems were performed by Anahit Indzhigulyan and remarks were then made by Mimi Bijimenian, Nairi Diratsouian and Mariam Khorenyan, who represented the Hyortik, Arsen and Moush chapters, respectively.
The names of fallen soldiers were read out loud, followed by a moment of silence to honor their memories. A hokehankisd was led by V. Rev. Fr. Yemishian, Vicar of the Prelacy and pastor of Sts. Vartanantz Armenian Church (Ridgefield, NJ), Rev. Fr. Mesrob Lakisian, pastor of St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, and Rev. Fr. Davit Karamyan, Vicar of St. Vartan Cathedral. After a speech by Taleen Babayan, concluding remarks were made by V. Rev. Fr. Sahag Yemishian,
The program closed with the singing of Giligia as participants laid yerakooyn carnations at the vigil and lit candles among photos of soldiers who sacrificed their lives during the Artsakh war.