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In 2013 the Korean American Forum of California (KAFC), led the campaign to construct and install a replica of the "Statue of Peace” in Glendale, California. This proposal was met by an intense backlash from various deniers, but rather than deter the Glendale City Council, it served as motivation to press forward. 

Glendale has a significant Armenian community, representing around 30% of the population in Glendale according to the 2010 census. Many council members or other government officials for Glendale (past and present) are of Armenian descent. This includes Zareh Sinanyan and Ara Najarian, who were Mayor and a Council member respectively in 2013.

The comfort women issue struck a chord with many members of the Glendale City Council. However the denial and revisionism of history by the Japanese government, is reminiscent of how the Turkish government frequently and vehemently denies accountability for the Armenian genocide. This very fact was referenced by Sinanyan and Najarian in their statements of support for the monument. 

The History of the Memorial: About Us

"My people, my grandfather, were subjected to a horrible, horrible crime...To this day, because no apology has come, no proper acknowledgement has come...the wound is deep, it's festering, and there can be no moving forward without it."

Zareh Sinanyan

The History of the Memorial: Quote

The plans to build the memorial were approved in a 4-1 vote, supported by Laura Friedman, Ara Najarian, Zareh Sinanyan, and Frank Quintero. The Peace Monument of Glendale was unveiled on July 30th of 2013, in Central Park near the Glendale Public Library. Its existence however is not without opposition. 

In 2014, the Global Alliance for Historical Truth-US Corporation (GAHT-US) filed a lawsuit against the city of Glendale. The lawsuit claims that the statue "unconstitutionally interfered with the federal government's exclusive authority to conduct foreign affairs.” and thus sought to remove the statue entirely. The case was dismissed twice, both in a district and superior court. Though the Japanese government filed an amicus brief in support of the lawsuit, the Supreme Court denied the review of the case in March of 2017, putting an end to a three year legal battle. 

Despite legal battles, and vandilizations, the memorial still stands as a testament to the comfort women's bravery. 

The History of the Memorial: Text
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