Local Armenian community reacts to President Biden's recognition

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- It's a moment many have been waiting for and finally witnessed on the 106th anniversary of the Armenian genocide, a day millions around the world honor and continue fighting for.

"If it wasn't for them, we would not be where we are today," says Raffy Chekerdemian, Chairman of the Armenian Cultural Foundation of Fresno. "If it wasn't for them, we would not have the values and the pride that we have today."

The City of Fresno raised the Armenian flag Saturday morning and declared this day to be a day of remembrance of the Armenian Genocide.

"So the fact that the City of Fresno continues to recognize us and support us the way it does is tremendous," Chekerdemian said. "It's very honoring and humbling for us."

RELATED: Biden formally recognizes atrocities against Armenians as genocide

President Joe Biden made history as he officially recognized the massacre of Armenians under the Ottoman Empire as a genocide.

Berj Apkarian, the Honorary Consul General of the Republic of Armenia, says this day is a huge step for the Armenian community and one they feel extremely proud of.

"Today, we thank President Biden and the Biden administration for them sending a strong message to the world that it was a genocide."

A message he hopes U.S. allies will also recognize and stand by in the future.

Armenian leaders say there is still a lot of work to do -- and support from the Biden administration is a huge step in the right direction.
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