This year marks the 99 anniversary of the commemoration of the Armenian Genocide. With one year to spare before the looming centenary, the 99 anniversary was commemorated with many events across London; concerts, vigils, marches, and services.
Completing their moral duty, Homenetmen London’s Scouts were present at all the main commemorations showing their patriotism and discipline by making an appearance at the St. Yeghichè Church on the evening of April 24, the annual commemoration march on 26 , and the commemoration at the Ealing Broadway Memorial Tree.
At the St. Yeghichè Church service the Homenetmen Scouts, sporting their smart uniforms, holding lit candles, took to the stage and sang the Armenian national anthem. After this show of devotion, scouts remained on stage and took turns to man the flags of Armenia, Artsakh and Homenetmen for the entirety of the service, during the various speeches and performances. The rest of the service proved to illustrate what talent the Armenian community has to offer from the new generations.
The following weekend included the Saturday, which was to host the annual march through central London and at the front of the procession, leading the march, were the Homenetmen Scouts. Providing a metaphor for the unity and determination of the Armenian people, the uniformed Scouts headed the protest carrying the flags of Armenia, Artsakh, Great Britain and Homenetmen, and accompanying the protest with the impressive sound of drums. Marching for approximately 2.5 miles, braving typical indecisive London weather with sun, rain, and wind all in one hour, the Scouts led the procession from Marble Arch to Downing Street. At the war memorial, prayers were said, wreaths were laid, Mer Hyrenik was sung and thanks were given to the participants.
Finally, at the Memorial Tree in Ealing Broadway on the Sunday, Homenetmen uniformed members respectfully stood silently in their disciplined and organised lines, once again presenting the four flags of Hayastan, Arstakh, Great Britain and Homenetmen, and formally starting the event.
Homenetmen thus showed how such a moral duty can be carried out by officially attending said events and specifically being at the forefront of them inspiring others to the cause. This motivation, in light of the approaching centenary, will rouse others to join alongside Homenetmen next year in attending the important commemorations, side by side, as a community to rightfully respect the past.
— Raphael Gregorian