LOS ANGELES - In response to the shelling of ethnic-Armenian villages in Artsakh by Azerbaijan, elected officials and Armenian-American civic and religious leaders organized a Vigil for Peace in Artsakh, drawing hundreds of people to Los Angeles City Hall on April 12.
Led by Councilmember Krekorian, the vigil put out a clarion call for peace in the Caucasus region where unrelenting violence by Azerbaijan's government has killed dozens of innocent people, including school children and the elderly, in recent days. Speakers at the vigil urged the U.S. government to take a stand for peace and justice by speaking out against Azerbaijan's military aggression and holding the country's leaders accountable for their crimes. The vigil also demanded freedom and self-determination for the peace-loving people of Artsakh.
"Every American should feel a kinship with the people of Artsakh. When we think of our history as Americans, we take pride in the actions, strength and courage of our forefathers as they stood up against an empire to declare independence. We should equally take pride in those Armenians who also stood up to their oppressors with the same strength, courage and perseverance to declare their freedom and sovereignty."
As the night grew dark, the crowd held candles, heard inspirational songs and watched as City Hall was illuminated for the first time in the colors of Artsakh's flag. Throughout the night, the house of government in the United States' second-largest city served as a beacon of hope for people from Southern California to Artsakh. The colors of freedom shone brightly for every Los Angeles resident to see.