By Hovsep M. Melkonian
WASHINGTON — Members of the Armenian community of the Greater Washington Metropolitan area, invited guests and elected local officials joined Rep. Frank Wolf, from the 10th congressional district of the Commonwealth of Virginia, on Saturday, May 21, to mark the official dedication of the Sully Station Post Office Building in Centreville, Va. in the name of the late Col. George Juskalian.
Juskalian, a decorated veteran of three wars, died on July 4, 2010 in Centreville, at the age of 96, and was buried with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery on October 19, 2010.
Rev. Hovsep Karapetyan, pastor of St. Mary’s Armenian Church, offered the invocation before the presentation of colors by guards from the local American legion Post 177, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars post 8469. The Chantilly Academy Air Force JROTC, the Westfield High School Band and Chorus participated in the program befitting the occasion. After their rendition of the national anthem, colonel Juskalian’s daughter, Elissa Lucine Juskalian, led the audience in the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.
“Col. George Juskalian not only was an honorable man and a servant to his country but he was also a devout Christian” said Karapetyan in a short address to the audience assembled before the building. “He was ready to sacrifice his life for his country and its people. This initiative of designating the Centreville Post Office as the Col. George Juskalian building is a great honor and privilege that extends beyond his military career and achievements and goes all the way to his Armenian roots. On behalf of St. Mary’s Armenian Church I bring my utmost appreciation to Congressman Frank Wolf and Senator Mark Warner for supporting this initiative and making this to become reality. Our appreciation also goes to those who stand behind this great project and this great endeavor.”
Taniel Koushakjian, Assembly grassroots director who was present at the ceremony noted: “This is a historic occasion not only for our veterans but for the Armenian-American community, as Col. George Juskalian becomes only the second Armenian-American to have a US Post Office named after him.”