By Hagop Vartivarian
ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J. – The towns of Englewood and Englewood Cliffs are among the most famous suburbs of the greater New York area. Some of the most influential and philanthropic Armenians in America live here. Let me just note a few of their names: Berge Setrakian, president of the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU); Nazar Nazarian, a great Armenian benefactor; Sarkis Jebejian and Nazaret Festekjian, members of the AGBU Central Board; public figures Gregory and Richard Seraydarian; Dr. Raffy Hovannesian; Henri Dimijian; newspaper columnist George Maksian; Dr. Hagop Gulekdjian; Shahe Jebejian; and Haroutiun Diratsouian They have their place not only in Armenian community life but in the American world of commerce.
The mayoralty, in remembrance of our multitudes of martyrs as well as out of gratitude and respect for the Armenian inhabitants of these two towns, had the Armenian tricolor flag flying above the borough’s municipal building for an entire week. Other influential minorities also have settled here, such as the Italians, Jews, and Koreans, but such an act has rarely been seen. Consequently, this is indeed a great gift that the municipality has bestowed upon its Armenian inhabitants, who have always remained loyal citizens of this country.
Rose Zenian-Cravotta, a local Armenian activist, was instrumental in facilitating this gesture. The mayor, Joseph Parisi, who is of Italian origins, has always been a close friend of the Armenians. In return, the latter have unreservedly supported him in his electoral efforts.
Perhaps this was the first time that a foreign flag appeared next to the American one, and it was the Armenian flag. Thank you, Mr. Mayor.
(Translated from the Armenian)