By Alin K. Gregorian
BOSTON — About 1,000 members of the Greater Boston Armenian community came together as one on Thursday, September 9, for the ceremonial groundbreaking and blessing of the Armenian Heritage Park along the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway.
The audience, comprising everyone from infants to seniors, and from every church and Armenian organization in the state, witnessed as Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II, in only his third trip to the United States, took the stage to bless the site and recite a prayer for the souls of Armenian Genocide martyrs as well as the generations to come.
Karekin II performed a service of blessing of the site and prayer for the soul of the martyrs, as well as a prayer for peace and prosperity in the Commonwealth.
Speaking in English, Karekin II thanked the community for extending an invitation to him “to be in Boston and to share in this happy occasion. Your city has played an important role in America,” he said, where the “undefeatable spirit of my people” has found a home.
The Armenians who fled the Ottoman Empire, he said, “were received with care and kindness. They became worthy citizens of this great country. [Later] our boys fought alongside their Irish, Italian and African-American neighbors” in World War II.