By Ara Jeknavorian
LOWELL, Mass. — The 104th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide was commemorated in Lowell, MA on Saturday, April 20 with the raising of the Armenian flag at Lowell City Hall and by a proclamation by the Mayor of the Lowell, the Honorable William Samaras. The commemoration, organized by the Armenian National Committee (ANC) of the Merrimack Valley, enjoyed the participation of all local Armenian Churches and Armenian organizations. The Honor Guard of the Armenian-American Veterans of Lowell presented both the American and Armenian Flags during the singing of the American and Armenian National Anthems. Rev. Father Khachatur Kesablyan from Sts. Vartanantz Armenian Church, Chelmsford, Rev. Stepan Baljian of St. Gregory Armenian Church, No. Andover, and Rev. Fr. Vart Gyozelian offered the invocation and benediction. Messages were offered by ACYOA member, David Arakelian from Sts. Vartanantz Armenian Church, Chelmsford, and Middlesex County West AYF member, Narineh Gevorkian. A proclamations was presented by Lowell Mayor William Samaras, and a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition by Emily Byrne, representing US Rep. Lori Trahan.
Remarks were also offered by City Council woman, Rita Mercier, and former Lowell City Mayor, Rodney Elliot. Recognition was also extended to artist, Varoujan Hejinian, who designed the beautiful “Mother’s Hands” Armenian Genocide Memorial that adorns the entrance to Lowell City Hall. Ara Jeknavorian, Merrimack Valley ANC Chair and Master of Ceremonies, expressed the heartfelt appreciation of the Greater Lowell Armenian community to the City of Lowell for once again providing the Armenian community the opportunity to proudly express its Armenian Heritage, to remember the holy martyrs of the Armenian Genocide, and to once again recognize the historical truth of the Armenian Genocide. Jeknavorian also thanked Congresswoman Trahan for being one of the 70 co-sponsors for the new Armenian Genocide Resolution recently introduced into Congress. A reception followed in the Lowell Mayor’s Reception room hosted by the Lowell Lousintak ARS Chapter and Sts. Vartanantz Women’s Guild with a music interlude provided by Datev and Tsoline Gevorkian.