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Thousands took to the streets of the Little Armenia area of Hollywood on Tuesday to mark the anniversary of the Armenian genocide of 1915.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times

An elderly man rides a scooter during the march down Hollywood Boulevard.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times

Col. Vanush Zargayan, who served in the Armenian military, takes part in the march.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times

Nare Mnatsakanyan, 19, at the Armenian Genocide Martyrs Monument.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times

Heghine Harboyan places flowers at the Armenian Genocide Martyrs Monument.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times

Ken Arutyunyan lights a fire to burn incense at the Armenian Genocide Martyrs Monument.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times

Thousands of Armenian Americans protest along Wilshire Boulevard to mark the anniversary of the 1915 Armenian genocide.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

Armenian Americans march along Wilshire Boulevard to mark the anniversary of the 1915 Armenian genocide.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

A young man waves an Armenian flag as thousands of Armenian Americans protest along Wilshire Boulevard.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

A group of women take a break as thousands of Armenian Americans protest along Wilshire Boulevard.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

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By Stephen Ceasar

Thousands marched through Hollywood on Tuesday in observance of the 97th anniversary of the beginning of the Armenian genocide and to call on the Turkish government to recognize the  deaths of about 1.5 million people.

Commemorations were also staged elsewhere in the Southland, including along Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles and at a memorial in Montebello.

The march was organized by the Armenian Youth Federation. Los Angeles police Sgt. Lamont Garrett said about 4,500 demonstrators participated, with many carrying Armenian flags and banners as they marched down Sunset and Hollywood boulevards.

At the end of the route, near Hobart and Sunset boulevards, speakers made remarks to the crowd before they moved on toward the Turkish consulate for another demonstration.

The genocide occurred under the Ottoman Empire, which became the modern-day republic of Turkey. Turkey denies that any such genocide occurred.

Among the marchers was Los Angeles City Councilman and mayoral candidate Eric Garcetti, who said the demonstrations were more than just a remembrance of those who were killed.

“This is about the fight to recognize this tragic event for what it was,  a genocide,” he said.

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