BOSTON – State Representative David K. Muradian, Jr., (R-Grafton) joined with his colleagues on April 22nd, for the 101st Anniversary Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide. Among the participating delegation were Speaker of the House, Robert A. DeLeo, Representative Jonathan Hecht, 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 Mosignor Andon Atamian of the Holy Cross Armenian Catholic Church. The children of St. Stephen’s Armenian Elementary School offered a beautiful rendition of “America the Beautiful” and the Armenian National Anthem. Speaker of the House, Robert A. DeLeo, welcomed the audience and the Armenian constituents in attendance. He spoke of the history of the genocide, urging the population to never forget the horrible acts of genocide which took place.
As the ceremony continued, Representative Muradian presented a Proclamation on behalf of Governor Charlie Baker. The presentation of joint Senate/House Resolutions and the recognition of special guests followed, including other members of the Massachusetts Legislature, United States Senator Ed Markey, and John Keverian, brother of late Massachusetts Speaker of the House, George Keverian.
Representative Muradian was given another opportunity to address the audience at the podium to introduce the keynote speaker, Ambassador Raymond L. Flynn. Representative Muradian delivered a message of hope stating:
“Last year, the centennial anniversary, served as the final chapter in a 100 year book, written by the documentaries and reflections of our people and our struggle. The next one hundred years will provide us, as both Armenians and as Americans, with a chance to educate, to grow, and to prosper.
There is no mistake that we have a dark cloud hanging over our heritage. But we also have a ray of sunshine starting to shine through; our resiliency. We will not ever forget our history, and it is upon us to never let the world forget, either. But, it is also upon us to highlight out successes. Try as they might, the Young Turk Government FAILED. We are succeeding, and no one is going to stop us from being proud Armenians. Our heritage provides us with a burning desire to keep us going, to keep us striving to shine through that dark cloud.”
After the address offered by Ambassador Raymond L. Flynn and an astounding series of musical performances, Governor Charlie Baker entered the House Chamber to address the audience. Both Governor Baker, as well as Representative Muradian, had the opportunity to have a conversation with106 year old Starrie Alemian, an Armenian Genocide survivor.