Friday, May 14, 2010

Genocide memorial built to honor famed General known as the “George Washington of Armenia”




Youth With A Mission (YWAM) has joined with the Armenian community of Northern California to build a memorial spring on their Richardson Springs campus to honor Armenian general and national hero, Andranik Ozanian.

Ozanian (1865-1927) who was described by the Literary Digest as Armenia’s “Robin Hood, Garibaldi, and Washington, all in one,” saved 30,000 people from starvation and impending death during the Armenian Genocide by the Ottoman Empire. During the tumultuous years of World War I (1914-1918), the empire’s Christian minority were systematically killed or deported. In all, up to 1.5 million Armenians were killed.

As provisional governor, Ozanian was able to allow the population of the city of Van to escape the Ottomans. The Literary Digest says, "then Antranik (sic) did one of those things which so sharply differentiate him from a purely military chief. He gathered a great host of Armenian refugees about him - and anyone who passes through the Yerevan Republic today can see the horrors of Turkish wrought starvation from which he saved them - and trekked southward to the refuge of an impregnable mountain district. Accepting defeat, his one thought was for his people's safety."
In 1919, he left political turmoil and power struggles and went into exile in Fresno, CA and lived there until 1927. When his health began to fail, his physician referred him to the healing waters of Richardson Springs. He travelled to the springs and passed away there August 31, 1927.

To honor the bravery of General Andranik, and remember the persecution of people around the world, YWAM, the local Armenian community, Dylan Wagner, of Stone & Earth Landscapes, and Chico Granite and Marble Works collaborated on the memorial and the building of the spring, made using uncut local stone. The plaque reads, "General Andranik Ozanian, hero of the Armenian people, died at the Springs, August 31, 1927.  This spring serves to remind us of the victims of persecution around the world, and specifically the 1,500,000 victims of the 1915-1918 genocide in Armenia."
Youth With A Mission is an international volunteer movement of Christians from many backgrounds, cultures and Christian traditions, dedicated to serving Jesus throughout the world. Also known as YWAM (pronounced "WHY-wham"), our purpose is simply to know God and to make Him known.
YWAM is currently operating in more than 1300 locations in over 177 countries, with a staff of nearly 16,000.
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1 comment:

  1. What a legacy and powerful memorial. Thank you for sharing this story.

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