BOSTON (WWLP) – A solemn event at the State House Friday for the commemoration of the Armenian Genocide.

April 24, 1915, marked the start of the Armenian Genocide, and 108 years later, Armenians from around the state gathered to honor those lost. In 1915, the Ottoman Turkish government arrested and executed around 200 Armenian leaders, this marked the beginning of the genocide.

Ultimately, 1.5 million Armenians died during the genocide and many more were displaced from their homelands.

Today, lawmakers, clergy, and members of the Armenian community filled the House Chamber to not only remember this tragic event but to also honor their culture and express appreciation.

“If the Armenians forget, then we can’t expect anyone else to remember either so, first and foremost, the Armenians of Massachusetts and of the entire United States have to make it a point to remember and to really not only remember but to give thanks to the country which really received many Armenian immigrants, which came to America with really mostly nothing.”

“They suffered a lot, they didn’t speak about it a lot, that generation, because they didn’t want to burden the next generation with those sad memories. So it’s up to the next generation and these generations, to remember this, never let the world forget what happened to the Armenians from 1915 through 1922.”

Thirty-two countries, including the United States, have recognized the Armenian Genocide, Turkey still refuses to accept any responsibility.

During the event, a proclamation from the governor was read marking April 24, 2023 as Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day in the Commonwealth.