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Friday, 17 April 2009 - A Pilgrimage to Der Zor: In Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide

On Friday, the 17th of April 2009, at 6:00AM, Mesrobian High School's Grade 11 and Grade 12 students went on a journey to Der Zor, Syria,
along with other Lebanese Armenian students.

The students first visited the Euphrates river and after the Saint Martyrs Church of Der Zor, where the Catholicos-Patriarch of Cilicia Aram I, as well as the bishops of Lebanon and Peri, were already present.
A memorial mass was held and the pilgrims visited the museum to see the relics, the documentary evidences and the pictures of the Armenian Genocide.

The candle lighting was a period of solemn silence and prayer, after which the bishop of Lebanon delivered his message.
The next morning, the crowd walked towards Euphrates river where Armenians of various countries were gathered. After the Syrian and Armenian marches, the Catholicos-Patriarch addressed his speech to the audience. He emphasized on the necessity to vow to defend our cause. Then, all the pilgrims threw flowers into the water of Euphrates where Armenian virgins threw themselves during the massacre.
Following that, the pilgrims were directed towards Margadeh. In Margadeh, a memorial mass was held, during which the Most Reverend Paul Haidossian, President of Haigazian University, mentioned: "Our martyrs suffered for the sake of our nation and our faith. Therefore, we Armenians should not forget this historical soil for it testifies our cause."

Some pilgrims tried to find relics and succeeded: Der Zor is an "open cemetery".
During this pilgrimage, 94 trees were planted, one of which was planted by Mesrobian students. After which, the pilgrims had a lunch, and returned to Lebanon.

The pilgrimage was covered by Voice of Van and Radio Sevan. Moreover, Radio Sevan reporter made several live interviews with some of the pilgrims.

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