LA CRESCENTA, Calif.—The students of Vahan and Anoush Chamlian School participate in an annual walkathon to the Prelacy, in order to raise Armenian Genocide awareness, pay tribute to our holy martyrs, and reaffirm their pledge to carry on their memory and legacy. This year’s walkathon took place on Tuesday, April 9.
Studentswere accompanied by Principal Dr. Talin Kargodorian, Vice-Principal Rita Kaprielian, as well as parents and teachers. Participants walked in three groups to the Prelacy, where they were greeted by Western Prelate Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian who was joined by Archpriest Fr. Nareg Pehlivanian, Rev. Ardak Demirjian, and Rev. Movses Shannakian.
Donning March for Justice t-shirts, the students first paid tribute to our holy martyrs by placing flowers at the Genocide memorial monument. Later, they conveyed remarks and presented songs and recitals. The students promised to uphold their faith, language, and heritage, while also pledging to defend the Armenian nation and cause.
On the eve of Palm Sunday and Easter, the Prelate conveyed his message to each group and spoke to the youth about the Resurrection. His message was related to the triumph of good over evil, adding that we too conquered evil—when the Turks tried, but failed, to annihilate us. Thus, he urged the youth to honor the memory and legacy of our holy martyrs by remaining faithful to our church and nation, and continuing to pursue justice.
Encouraged by the Prelate, two 8th grade students expressed their thoughts on the day’s message, affirming their allegiance to our religious and national identity.
Upon the return of the final group to campus, the 8th grade class gathered at “Dikran and Zarouhie Der Ghazarian” Hall, where they received the Prelate’s blessings ahead of their pilgrimage to Armenia.
Speaking on the sites they will visit, Archbishop Mardirossian explained that we are blessed because the Lord Himself appeared over our lands, and chose the location of our first church, Etchmiadzin, with a golden hammer. He commended the students’ performances, especially the “Oath to Ararat,” and reminded them to renew their oath to both God and our cause, and to continue to pursue our rights until we achieve a free, independent, and united Armenia.
The gathering closed with Cilicia, the Armenian National Anthem, and the benediction by the Prelate. The students received mementos at their departure.
Prior to the walkathon, students participated in the traditional tree-planting and candle-lighting ceremony at the school courtyard.