April 24th 2018 BOSTON – State Representative David K. Muradian, Jr., (R-Grafton) joined with his colleagues in the House Chamber on April 20th to host the 103rd Anniversary Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide. Among the participating delegation were Representative Jonathan Hecht, Representative John Lawn, Representative Dave Rogers, Representative James Miceli, and Senator Will Brownsberger.
The ceremony began with the procession of sergeant-at-arms, elected officials and reverend clergy led by Homenetmen Scouts, followed by an invocation led by Rev. Fr. Stephan Baljian of the Saint Gregory Armenian Apostolic Church of Merrimack Valley. The children of St. Stephen’s Armenian Elementary School offered beautiful renditions of both the American and Armenian National Anthems. Representative Muradian began the ceremony by welcoming the audience and Armenian constituents in attendance. He spoke of the history of genocide, urging the population to never forget the horrible acts of genocide which took place.
Serving as the Master of Ceremonies, Representative Muradian was able to address the guests and introduce the keynote speaker, Raffi Bedrosyan. He also presented two Proclamations on behalf of Governor Charlie Baker. The first recognized the 103rd Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, while the second was given to Starrie Alemian, a 108 year old survivor of the genocide.The presentation of Joint House/Senate Resolutions and the recognition of special guests happened as well, including other members of the Massachusetts Legislature and family members of the late Massachusetts Speaker of the House, George Keverian.
“Our Armenian heritage and history provides us with a fire inside, that helps energize us, and keeps us pushing forward. It provides us with a unique opportunity to serve as a lighthouse to yourself, to your community, and to others. Even when it appeared the darkest, our brothers, our sisters, our fathers and our mothers saw a light in the distance. A guiding light that carried them on,” said Representative Muradian. “We need to be Beacons - to educate and inform others who aren’t as aware of the atrocities to our heritage, and to our people. In fact, I firmly believe that we can be Beacons of humanity, echoing the theme of this year’s commemoration ceremony: UNITED AGAINST GENOCIDE.”
Following the ceremony, guests were invited to attend an informal reception in the Great Hall of Flags where Governor Baker had the opportunity to join everyone. Representative Muradian and the Governor had the honor of sitting down and speaking with Starrie Alemian privately. She not only spoke of her family and life in the United States, but also her survival and how it forever changed her outlook on life - all 108 years and counting!