By Jean Eckian / Paris
On Sat., Feb. 16, Sergio (Sarkis) Musceghian, the last survivor of the Armenian Genocide in Cerchiara (Calabria), Italy, died. He was 98 years old.
Sarkis was born on Nov. 4, 1916, and was taken in by Italian missionaries in Rhodes while walking on the streets of Constantinople when he was four years old.
In his eulogy, Cerchiara Mayor Antonio Carlomagno paid tribute to this man “of great dignity and moral rectitude.”
“The community of Cerchiara di Calabria had the pleasure and honor of meeting Sarkis during memorial moments of this great tragedy of the Armenian people, still waiting for justice in history and men. We were honored to meet with him and the history of his people. Sarkis, thank you,” said Carlomagno.
In the last years of his life, Sarkis devoted much of his time to discussing the fate of the Armenian people, especially during genocide commemorations on April 24. “I cannot miss an opportunity when we speak of the fate of my people,” he once said.
He lived in the village of Nor Arax (a “Villaggio Armeno”) in Bari with his wife Maryam and her daughter Vartuhi. In January 2013, Bari unveiled a khatchkar (cross-stone) in tribute to the victims of the Armenian Genocide.