PEABODY, Mass. — The ceremony of commemoration of the Armenian Genocide has been held in Peabody, Massachusetts, for over three decades. Late Mayor Peter Torigian (1936-2004) of Peabody began the flag-raising and commemoration event and it continued with his successors until 2019. This year ninth-grade Peabody student Gabriella Melkonian petitioned the city of Peabody to raise the Armenian flag once again to commemorate the Genocide anniversary on April 24. Melkonian and her friends distributed the petition at Peabody Veterans Memorial High school. After they obtained over 200 signatures, they presented the petition to Mayor Edward A. Bettencourt. The mayor accepted the petition.
On Thursday, April 21, at 1 p.m. in front of Peabody City Hall, the flag-raising ceremony was held for the 107th anniversary commemoration of the Armenian Genocide. Mayor Edward A. Bettencourt served as host and gave a speech about what had happened during the Genocide to the Armenian people. Late Mayor Peter Torigian’s wife Jackie Torigian was also present during the ceremony and helped the mayor to raise the flag, together with Melkonian.
Bettencourt presented a proclamation which decreed April 26 to be the day for commemoration of the 107th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide in Peabody and gave it to Gabriella Melkonian.
Mayor Bettencourt in his closing remarks said that Peabody will continue this tradition to commemorate the Armenian Genocide.