NEW YORK — President Serge Sargisian visited Ellis Island as part of his visit to the US and was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor of the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations (NECO).
The island has been the first stop for millions of immigrants, including Armenians, to the US since the end of the 19th century. The Immigration Station was closed in 1954, and the Immigration Museum was opened in 1976. There is a special exhibition at the Museum dedicated to the Armenian Genocide and Armenian immigrants.
Sargisian visited the Immigration Museum and wrote in the Honorary Guest Book.
The Ellis Island Medal of Honor was founded by the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations (NECO) and pays homage to the immigrant experience. Among the recipients of the medal there are six US Presidents, tens of Secretaries of State, Senators, Congressmen, Nobel Prize Laureates, culture figures, sportsmen and entrepreneurs.
Sargisian became the first foreign leader to receive the Medal. NECO President Nasser Kazeminy noted that the decision was connected with the Armenian President’s contribution to the development of Armenian-American relations, and his devotion to the establishment of peace in the South Caucasus. Sargisian expressed gratitude for the award, noting that he was proud of Armenians living in the US.