LONDON — On September 23, a Khachkar symbolizing the eternal flame, was unveiled in Ealing Green. It is a masterpiece by a renowned artist from Armenia Varaztad Hampartsoumian. This marked the culmination of a sustained effort by the Armenian Community Council of GB and Armenian National Committee London, the Ealing Borough Council and the generosity of the benefactor Violet Tatevossian of London.
The inscription on the Khachkar reads: The Eternal Flame In memory of the One and Half Million Victims of the Armenian Genocide.
A strong crowd of about 300 people, including Homenetmen Scouts, gathered in the designated point on Ealing Green to unveil the monument. In attendance one could recognize the local member of Parliament James Murray Esq., Peter Mason the Leader of Ealing Borough Council the Mayor of Ealing Hitesh Taylor, former MP Stephen Pound and other dignitaries. The Ambassador of Armenia Varuzhan Nersessyan who was in attendance, reflected upon the symbolic meaning of the khachkar.
The ceremony was opened by the ACC Chair Armand Abramian, followed by short addresses by Annette Moskofian, John Murray, Peter Mason and Stephen Pound. Following these speeches, the primate of UK and Ireland Bishop Hovakim Manukyan surrounded by Armenian Church clergy and clergy representing other denominations including Rt. Rev. Bishop Mike Royal blessed the Khachkar. The ceremony was finished by the rendering of the national anthem of the Republic of Armenia.
As result of the recent developments in Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh) the pain and heaviness of the ceremony was palpable. What should have been an august occasion, was marred by the presence of Turkish individuals waving the Turkish flag and making the Turkish sign of the Grey Wolves; a reminder of the existential threat Armenians face. Fortunately the Police presence kept them at bay.