WHITINSVILLE, Mass.—Like many things, the Armenian Heritage Monument in Whitinsville started as a single thought: how great it would be to come together every Memorial Day to remember, honor and pray for the souls of the immigrants who survived the Armenian Genocide of 1915 and were welcomed to Whitinsville to build new lives.
They suffered, they sacrificed and they survived making today possible for Armenian Americans who now enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness in this great state and country we all call home. Many worked in the Whitin Machine Works and were an integral part of the labor pool, helping to build the local economy.
The groundbreaking ceremony for the Armenian Heritage Monument was held on Tuesday, April 18 at Pine Grove Cemetery in Whitinsville. Highlighting the event was the site blessing by His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielian, Prelate of the Eastern Prelacy of US, joined by Rev. Fr. Mikael Der Kosrofian and Rev. Fr. Aram Stepanian of Soorp Asdvadzadzin Armenian Apostolic Church.
“We are blessed for having a shared vision with community supporters and leaders for this monument to be erected in a special place where the majority of Armenians from Whitinsville have been laid to rest,” stated Rev. Fr. Der Kosrofian.
This monument will consist of a khachkar (stone cross) from Armenia which will be placed in the center and embraced by three pillars. These pillars represent the Holy Trinity, and on each will be engraved the forget-me-not flower, expressing the theme of eternal remembrance. The base of each pillar will be rough cut to represent the hardships and suffering of our survivors. As the pillars ascend, the roughness will transform into a smooth finish, symbolizing the life we enjoy today.
Distinguished members of the community State Rep. David K. Muradian (9th Worcester District), UniBank CEO Michael Welch and Board chair Timothy Wickstrom, Northbridge Board of Selectmen chair Russell Collins and member Charles Ampagoomian, Jr., and Jim Tusino of Guaranteed Builders, Inc. were also in attendance.