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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Hundreds of people have gathered in Providence to commemorate the murder of almost 1.5 million Armenians a century ago.

Descendants of those Armenians and many more who fled the oppressing Ottoman government gathered in Saints Sahag and Mesrob Church Sunday to reflect on the genocide.

The Providence Journal reports the ceremony also celebrated the 100th anniversary of the 1918 founding of the First Republic of Armenia.

The current Turkish government refuses to recognize the extermination of the Armenians.

Author and grandson of Armenian Genocide survivors Chris Bohjalian spoke at the event. The Vermont resident says “Turkey tried to destroy us, and Turkey failed.”

Members of Rhode Island’s congressional delegation also attended.


Information from: The Providence Journal,