Lowell honored the 104th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide on Saturday, April 20 with the raising of the Armenian flag at Lowell City Hall and a proclamation by Lowell mayor, the Honorable William Samaras.
Local Armenian churches and organizations participated in the annual commemoration, organized by the Armenian National Committee (ANC) of the Merrimack Valley. The Honor Guard of the Armenian-American Veterans of Lowell presented both the American and Armenian Flags during the singing of the Armenian national anthem and the Star Spangled Banner.
Rev. Father Khachatur Kesablyan (Sts. Vartanantz Armenian Church, Chelmsford), Rev. Fr. Stepan Baljian (St. Gregory Armenian Church, No. Andover) and Rev. Fr. Vart Gyozelian offered the invocation and benediction. Messages were offered by ACYOA member, David Arakelian from Sts. Vartanantz Armenian Church, Chelmsford and Middlesex County West AYF member, Narineh Gevorkian. A Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition was presented by Emily Byrne, 3rd MA Congressional District Director representing US Congresswoman Lori Trahan.
City Councilwoman Rita Mercier and former Lowell City Mayor, Rodney Elliot also spoke. Recognition was also extended to world-renowned artist, Varoujan Hejinian, who designed the beautiful “Mother’s Hands” Armenian Genocide Memorial that adorns the entrance to Lowell City Hall. Ara Jeknavorian, Merrimack Valley ANC Chair and Master of Ceremonies, expressed the heartfelt appreciation of the Greater Lowell Armenian community to the City of Lowell for once again providing the Armenian community the opportunity to proudly express its Armenian heritage, to remember the holy martyrs of the Armenian Genocide and to recognize the historical truth of the Armenian Genocide. Jeknavorian also thanked Congresswoman Trahan for being one of the 70 co-sponsors for the new Armenian Genocide Resolution recently introduced in Congress.
The Lowell Lousintak ARS Chapter and Sts. Vartanantz Women’s Guild hosted a reception with a musical interlude provided by Datev and Tsoline Gevorkian.