BROOMALL, Penn. — The family and friends of Arslan Seraydarian celebrated his 100th birthday on Saturday, February 17, at the Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College in Philadelphia.
The evening was filled with historic and heartwarming recollections of a life of perseverance, resilience and faith and with festive Armenian and American music, dance and cuisine. It was a fitting tribute to a survivor of the Armenian Genocide, a decorated World War II veteran, an accomplished professional, and a treasured family member and friend.
A man whose life has epitomized the American dream, Arslan Seraydarian was born in Yozgot, Turkey, on February 16, 1918. He and some of his family members escaped the Armenian Genocide, while many other relatives perished at the hands of the Ottoman Turks.
Arriving in the US in 1923, he was forced to drop out of school in the eighth grade to help support his family during the Great Depression.
Serving in the Army in the European theater of World War II from 1939-1945, he endured 10 months of fierce combat in which he and his fellow soldiers were forced to use dead animals for shelter. He fought in the Battle of the Bulge, earning three Bronze Stars and recently the French Legion of Honor medal for helping liberate France.
After the war, Seraydarian was able to complete high school, attend college and eventually earned a master’s degree. He enjoyed a long and productive career as an aerospace engineer and teacher.