Armenia’s Consul General in Los Angeles Armen Baibourtian visited Fresno on Saturday, the Fresno Bee reports.
At the Armenian Genocide Memorial Honorary Consul for Armenia in Fresno Berj K. Apkarian explained to him all about the monument, and everything that went into its construction, like the fact that Armenian soil sits under the monument.
He explained that the spiral ring atop the monument represents the “jolt” of the 1915 genocide where 1.5 million Armenians were slaughtered.
Joined by Fresno State President Joseph Castro, Apkarian and Baibourtian walked behind a wreath that was carried from the steps of the monument to its center, where quiet water streams down from the pillars. Baibourtian and the other men bowed their heads and stood silent in honor of the victims.
This monument, Baibourtian said, is a symbol of prevention. “It shows that no more tragedies like genocide should occur.”
The visit was emotional for Baibourtian, both because of what the monument represents but because Fresno has always felt like home to him, he said.
He admires Fresno people as hardworking and important, and said he will continue to maintain strong relationships and keep a constant eye on the region, a historically traditional destination for Armenian migration.
Bairbourtian said Armenia is making efforts to advance and improve its agricultural technology, and there is a lot to learn from Fresno and its farmers - and from Fresno State.
In a message the Council General said Armenia welcomes visitors and business investors with open arms.
"My message is Armenia, historical motherland of my fellow Armenians is open for them, waits for them. Waits for them because we want Armenians living here to travel to Armenia, to establish businesses in Armenia," Baibourtian said.