On the day same day President Joe Biden became the first sitting U.S. president to formally recognize the killing of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire a century ago as a genocide, crowds took to the streets in the Los Angeles area Saturday to mark the 106th anniversary of the beginning of the violence.
To commemorate Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day, Armenian Americans gathered for a march in the Little Armenia area in Hollywood.
Around noon, hundreds were seen in the area of Hollywood Boulevard and Western Avenue, where a stage was set up in the roadway and people were waving red, blue and orange Armenian flags, video from Sky5 showed.
A crowd of protesters also gathered outside the Turkish consulate in Beverly Hills.
Beverly Hills police announced around 1:20 p.m. that Wilshire Boulevard was closed in both directions from La Cienega Boulevard to Stanley Drive.
Hundreds of people also flocked to a hilltop monument in Montebello, where they laid flowers and said prayers for the estimated 1.5 million Armenians killed.
The Los Angeles region is home to a large community of Armenian Americans, who for decades have called on the U.S. government to formally recognize the slaughter as a genocide.
L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti commended Biden’s statement Saturday.
“Today, President Joe Biden made history by becoming the first U.S. President to speak the truth in all the dark realities of the past, and recognize the undeniable fact of the Armenian Genocide,” the mayor said. “This day is long overdue, and it is 106 years in the making.”