YEREVAN—In a ceremony dedicated to Clara Burton, the founder and first president of the American Red Cross, the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute unveiled a publication and mementos honoring the humanitarian.
During the event organized by AGMI with support from the US Embassy in Armenia, the English and Armenian editions of Clara Barton’s “American Relief Expedition to Asia Minor under the Red Cross” report (1896) were unveiled. The translation and publication of the Armenian edition of the report was made possible through the support of the U.S. Embassy.
On this occasion, the AGMI Scientific Council decided to issue a Clara Barton Golden Medal named “Gratitude,” as well as a memorial postcard. The director of the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute Hayk Demoyan handed golden medals to John Heffern, the U.S. Ambassador to Armenia, Ashot Hovakimian, Armenia’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Kevin Patti, Barton expert. The US Embassy will deliver medals to President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as a token of Armenian-American friendship.
Patti, who is a historian representing the Clara Barton National Historic Site offered opening remarks at the event.
The unveiling was followed by a ceremony of interring soil from Barton’s grave the placement of a plaque at the Memorial Wall of the Dzidzernagapert Memorial. A temporary exhibition dedicated to Clara Barton also opened at the Armenian Genocide Museum.
Clara Barton, Founder and Chairperson of the American Red Cross, was born in 1821 in Oxford, Massachusetts. Clara Barton became known as the “Angel of the Battlefield” for her humanitarian activities during the American Civil War.
Learning about the extensive massacres of Armenians in 1895-1896 in the Ottoman Empire, in 1896 Clara Barton arrived in Constantinople and coordinated the relief aid distribution to the survivors of the massacres and homeless people for about a year.
Thanks to Clara Barton’s efforts Armenian survivors of the massacres were provided with shelter, food, medicine and clothing. Because of a number of obstacles created by the Ottoman authorities Clara Barton was forced to leave the Ottoman Empire and return to the U.S. At the end of 1896 Clara Barton together with her colleagues published a report of their humanitarian activities in the Ottoman Empire.