By Alin K. Gregorian
BOSTON — The almost decade and a half of work for a park dedicated to the Armenian people culminated with a one-two punch celebration on Tuesday, May 22, which marked the dedication and official unveiling of the Armenian Heritage Park. The event featured dignitaries from both the US and Armenia and speakers that represented the city and the state as well as the Armenian community. Finally, the abstract sculpture, a split dodecahedron designed by architect Donald Tellalian, the labyrinth and the reflecting pool all had come together at their permanent home on the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway.
Under rainy skies, surrounded by colorful bobbing umbrellas, a plethora of dignitaries spoke or were present to lend their support. Originally, Armenia’s president, Serge Sargisian, was slated to be the main speaker, but international politics intervened. (See story on page 1.)
The tone was two-fold: celebrating immigrants and their success by making this $6-million gift to the City of Boston, while remembering the victims of the Armenian Genocide. Mention was made that the site is behind the North End neighborhood of Boston, which in the last century in particular was home to working-class Italian immigrants, as well as a statue of Christopher Columbus. The theme of the community’s unity was also stressed again and again.
The theme was referenced again and again throughout the day, during which both the participants and the audience were clearly touched.