‘Armenian Justice and Survival: The Next Hundred Years’
BOSTON, Mass.—Each April for the past 31 years, members of the Armenian community along with state legislators and guests have come together at the Massachusetts State House to commemorate the Armenian Genocide. This year the commemoration will take place on Fri., April 22 at 10:30 a.m. in the House Chamber, with a program of speakers, music, and honorees. Following the ceremony, a reception provided by Ani Catering of Belmont will be held at the Grand Staircase; there, guests will be able to view a video created especially for the event by filmmaker Roger Hagopian about Armenia and the survival of the Armenian nation.
The event recognizes the genocide of 1.5 million Armenians between 1915 and 1923 by the Ottoman-Turkish government. This is an opportunity for survivors and Armenian-American descendants to demonstrate their commitment to preserving their culture, religion, and language; working for humanitarian projects and awareness; and striving for recognition of the Armenian Genocide.
House Speaker Robert DeLeo will provide welcoming remarks. Governor Charlie Baker is invited to present proclamations. Ray Flynn, the former U.S. ambassador to the Vatican (1993‐97) and three-term mayor of Boston (1984‐1993), will deliver the keynote address. Conventures, Knights of Vartan Ararat Lodge #1, and the Armenian Genocide Commemoration Committee of Merrimack Valley will be recognized with joint Senate and House resolutions.
Late Speaker George Keverian began the annual commemoration at the State House in 1985. His brother, Jack Keverian, will be making a special announcement on behalf of the Keverian family to honor George.
Music and participation by the youth are an integral part of the commemoration. Performing will be the children of St. Stephen’s Armenian Elementary School, the Zankagner Performing Arts Ensemble, and pianist Jasmin Atabekyan and young violinist Emily Gasparyan. Members of the Homenetmen Scouts will also attend.
The commemoration is hosted by State Senator Will Brownsberger (D-Belmont) and State Representatives Jonathan Hecht (D-Watertown), Dave Rogers (D-Cambridge), John Lawn (D-Watertown), David Muradian (R-Grafton), and James Miceli (D-Wilmington). The event is organized by a planning committee of pastoral and lay leaders chaired by Belmont resident Lalig Musserian.
Buses to the State House will leave from Watertown at 9 a.m. from St. James Church, 465 Mount Auburn St., and from St. Stephen’s Church, 38 Elton Ave. The buses will depart the State House at 1:15 p.m. and transport guests back to originating locations, with an expected arrival in Watertown at approximately 2 p.m. The bus service is free, donated by the Knights of Vartan, Ararat Lodge #1.