Roughly 200 local Armenians, some clutching candles, marched from City Hall to the Burbank Youth Center Tuesday to kick off a night commemorating the 99th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, which claimed the lives of 1.5 million men, women and children near the beginning of the 20th century.
Hosted by the Armenian Youth Federation, the half-mile walk led to an event that featured speakers, poetry readings, Armenian folk dancing and singing.
"Nearly 100 years later, we are still here," Burbank resident Talar Kossakian, 21, told attendees.
The genocide, however, perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire starting in 1915, is not recognized by Turkey or the United States.
"Our fight will continue until justice is served," Kossakian said.
Zaruhi Varpetyan, 17-year-old senior at John Burroughs High School, told attendees that her ancestors lost their lives during the massacres.
"If the people who perpetrated the genocide are not punished, the cycle of genocide will continue," she said.