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LBHS student creates new banner to promote Genocide Awareness Week

Last year during the pandemic, Ashton Azadian, now a Laguna Beach High School junior and vice president of the Associated Student Body (ASB), created a banner remembering the Armenian Genocide of 1915. It was hung in the LBHS quad catalyzing the school to proudly come together for the first time in history to recognize the Armenian Genocide.

Last year, President Biden declared April 24 as Armenian Remembrance Day. This proclamation occurred after Azadian made his banner, so he decided to update it. 

Earlier this week, Azadian created and hung a new banner recognizing Genocide Awareness Week. He once again applied for a grant from their PTA and, with the support of LBHS Principal Dr. Jason Allemann, Azadian designed the visual for the new banner, which shows the U.S. Flag, the Armenian Flag and their school’s logo along one line.

LBHS student banner

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of Ashton Azadian

Ashton Azadian with the new banner he created and displayed in the LBHS quad this week

“I like the new visual I created because it shows partnership and solidarity as our student body and teachers again come together to recognize the Armenian Genocide this year,” said Azadian. “The year 1915 appears in the background, because the Armenian Genocide began on April 24, 1915. The banner shows that our school stands strong with our nation and Armenia. My peers from all grade levels at the school have stopped to thank me for the new banner and for how the banner helps to bring greater awareness to the evil of genocide.”

Teachers have also told Azadian how much they appreciate the banner and what it represents.

“As an Armenian-American, I am proud to be a part of a school that fosters that kind of meaningful education and awareness with a real focus on diversity, equity and inclusion. I’m also thankful for our school’s PTA for awarding me with this important student grant,” said Azadian.

Here is what Azadian shared with the entire school during the morning announcements earlier this week:

“Hey Breakers, this week we join schools and colleges across the country and around the world to recognize the Armenian Genocide of 1915. In the quad, you will see a banner remembering the Armenian Genocide and I encourage you to take a second to scan the QR code in the bottom right corner of the banner to learn more about the Armenian Genocide and our nation’s recognition of it. When you scan the QR code, you’ll be taken to President Biden’s proclamation, which condemns the killing of over 1.5 million Christian Armenians from 1915 to 1923, a campaign of ethnic and religious extermination. Indeed, when Hitler was asked how he thought he’d get away with the Jewish Holocaust during World War II, his response was this: ‘Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians!’ My great grandfather was a survivor of the Armenian Genocide at the age of 4 years old, and even when he was an old man, he remembered the horrors inflicted on his family while he watched his mother and father and older siblings being tortured and then murdered. As a Breaker who has Armenian heritage, it means a lot to me that our school recognizes the Armenian Genocide because, as the saying goes, ‘if we don’t learn from history, we are doomed to repeat it.’”


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