WATERTOWN, Mass. — On January 27, representatives of the Armenian community of Massachusetts honored Gov. Deval Patrick at the Bell Tower Place condominiums.
The opening remarks made by the organizer and president of the Armenian Heritage Foundation Jimmy Kalustian, who said that Patrick understood the Armenian community’s issues and had done much to help them and their cause. Kalustian mentioned also that the governor was someone who truly came through with his promises, including his pledge to support the Armenian Heritage Park, without whose support, it would not have been realized.
Then state Rep. Peter Koutoujian introduced Patrick and said how he was not afraid to use the word “genocide.” He said how Patrick called President Barrack Obama’s chief of staff to convey to the president just how important it was to use the word “genocide” during his trip to Turkey last year. He also hosted the ambassador of the US to Armenia, Marie Yovanovitch, during her visit in July, and told her how important it was for the administration to adjust its perspective on Armenia and the Genocide.
Patrick had witnessed the Rwandan genocide’s aftereffect and had a strong understanding of the Armenian Genocide, based on what he himself had witnessed.
Patrick then thanked the community for their hospitality and said that the reason he was in office was to be able to touch people’s lives. He noted that he wanted to be an advocate for human rights. He also said that he was proud that in these difficult times the state had a balanced budget, thus maintaining its AA bond rating.
He spoke about the state’s green technology and how it is the fastest growing industry in Massachusetts, creating new jobs while also protecting the future.