HOLLYWOOD (CBSLA.com) — Hundreds of members of the Southland Armenian community and others marched through Hollywood Wednesday to urge the U.S. to officially recognize the murders of millions of Armenians as the first genocide of the 20th century.

CBS2’s Randy Paige reports the annual protest organized by the group Unified Young Armenians (UYA) is aimed at preserving the legacy of as many as 1.8 million men, women and children were killed under the Ottoman Empire between 1915 and 1923.

Local clergy and military members were among those who were seen marching at the intersections of Hobart and Sunset Boulevards to remember the events that took place nearly 98 years ago today.

City Councilman Paul Krekorian, an Armenian-American, was also among those who participated in the march, and said the event’s turnout speaks for itself.

“The reason that people continue to come out in such large numbers, even after 98 years, is because this is not a matter of history, this is a matter of what’s happening today,” Krekorian said. “This is an atrocity that continues to be denied by the Turkish government.”

The L.A. County Board of Supervisors issued a proclamation Tuesday in remembrance of the Armenian genocide.

Gov. Jerry Brown followed suit with proclamation Wednesday naming April 24, 2013, as “A Day of Remembrance of the Armenian Genocide” in the state of California.

Los Angeles County is home to the nearly 194,000 Armenians, the largest such population in the United States, according to 2010 U.S. census estimates. About one-third of Glendale residents are of Armenian descent.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)


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