Hundreds headed to the streets Wednesday for the 24th annual Armenian genocide parade and rally, commemorating the anniversary of what historians estimate was the killing of 1.5 million Armenians. The protesters want the U.S. to officially acknowledge that the mass killings of Armenians during World War I were in fact genocide. Ted Chen reports from Mid-Wilshire for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on April 24, 2013.
Millions of Armenians and their supporters around the world honored on Wednesday victims on the 98th anniversary of their mass slaughter by Ottoman Turks.
Participants in Los Angeles included genocide survivors, politicians, activists and Armenian-American community leaders. Thousands of protesters were also expected to march to the Turkish Consulate on Wednesday afternoon.
Historians estimate that up to 1.5 million Armenians were killed by Ottoman Turks around the time of World War I. Turkey denies that the deaths constituted genocide, saying the toll has been inflated and those who were killed were victims of civil war and unrest.
President Barack Obama is honoring Armenian victims on the anniversary of their massacre in Turkey nearly a century ago.
Obama, in a statement he releases annually on this date, stopped short of calling the slaughter “genocide,” but said it was “one of the worst atrocities of the 20th century."