Massachusetts, Armenian Leaders Attend Dedication at Armenian Heritage Park
BOSTON—Massachusetts and Armenian government officials joined hundreds of attendees from the Armenian community and surrounding neighborhoods on Tuesday at the dedication of Armenian Heritage Park, the newest addition to the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway.
The park boasts a reflecting pool, a sculpture to honor the immigration experience, and a labyrinth of grass and inlaid stone. Armenian Heritage Park is a gift from the Massachusetts’ Armenian American community to the citizens of the Commonwealth and the City of Boston and is meant for citizens of all ages to enjoy year-round.
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, Mayor Thomas M. Menino, Congressman Edward J. Markey, and Middlesex Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian were among the Massachusetts elected leaders that voiced their support at the dedication in celebration of Armenian Heritage Park.
Armenian Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian, Minister of Diaspora Hranush Hakobyan, and Ambassador of Republic of Armenia to the United States Tatoul Markarian were also in attendance on behalf of the Republic of Armenia. Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan, and Archbishop Vicken Aykazian led the audience in a blessing for the dedication.
“This is a proud symbol of resilience for our Armenian community and our Commonwealth,” said Patrick. “It is a tribute to those who have, against many odds, contributed so much to Massachusetts, and a marker for future generations to see our state as a place to reach for their dreams.”
Boston has long served as an entryway for immigrants from around the world. Not far from Armenian Heritage Park is Faneuil Hall, where New England’s leaders showed early on strong support and advocacy for Armenia and human rights.
“Boston has and will continue to be a shining example of how a culturally diverse community can succeed,” added Menino. “I am honored by the gift of the Armenian Heritage Park to the city of Boston as it will always serve as a tribute to the achievements of our vibrant and successful Armenian American community.”
The park includes a 12-sided, shape-shifting sculpture surrounded by a reflecting pool representing the immigrant communities renewed and reshaped in Massachusetts. On the outer circle of the labyrinth the names of the Armenian immigrants who distinguished themselves in the arts, science, education, commerce, and public service are etched.
“Once again, it is at Armenian Heritage Park that we come together to talk, think, learn, laugh, and remember,” said James Kalustian, president of the Armenian Heritage Foundation. “The Armenian Heritage Park continues to symbolize Armenian immigrants, who overcame so much and contributed so greatly to American culture and society.”
The Armenian Heritage Foundation was established in 2005, and is comprised of over 35 Armenian religious, cultural, educational, and philanthropic organizations throughout Massachusetts. It is through a true community wide effort that the Armenian Heritage Park has become a reality and a symbol for hope, rebirth, and triumph.