WHITINSVILLE, Mass. — “Légion Arménienne: The Armenian Legion and Its Heroism in the Middle East” is a traveling exhibit developed and prepared by the Armenian Library and Museum of America (ALMA) in honor of the Legionnaires and their devotion to their nation and to the cause of liberty during World War I. The exhibit explores the formation, training, military action and postwar activities of this all-volunteer force through photographs and narratives.
ALMA is premiering the exhibit at Northbridge Town Hall, 7 Main St., Whitinsville, starting August 31. The exhibit will run through September 22. It is open to the public Monday 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; and Friday 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
On Monday, September 14, ALMA will host a free public reception at Northbridge Town Hall from 5 to 7 p.m. in celebration of the exhibit embarking on its first nationwide tour. Following its premier in Whitinsville, “Légion Arménienne” will travel to the West Coast in October.
The story of the Armenian Legion reflects the community’s attempts to come to grips with the destruction and devastation following the Armenian Genocide. It also represents the successful efforts of Armenians from different social, economic and political backgrounds to work together for a common cause. The Legion encompassed a group of remarkable individuals — some officers, others of no special rank or distinction — who volunteered throughout the diaspora, overcoming tremendous difficulties in order to serve their people and nation courageously, often at great personal sacrifice. Their lives are well worth remembering.
One of these individuals, Hagop Arevian, provides an example of the dedication exhibited by the Legionnaires under extraordinary circumstances. Born in 1894 in a small village near Sebastia (Turkey), he experienced the tragedy and dislocation that have affected so many Armenians. His family miraculously survived the