GLENDALE–Following the special liturgical services–the State Wish and blessing of the tricolor Armenian flag in celebration of the 80th anniversary of Armenian independence–on Sunday–May 31–the religious procession–led by Prelate Moushegh Mardirossian–proceeded to the courtyard of St. Mary’s Armenian Church in Glendale–to officiate the inauguration of the Zakarian Khachkar.
The khachkar was dedicated by benefactor Arthur Zakarian–to the memory of his parents Hovhannes and Sophia Zakarian–and in celebration of the 1700th anniversary of Armenian acceptance of Christianity as a state religion.
The douf stone of the khachkar was imported from Armenia and sculpted by Gaspar Gharibyan. The 11x4x43 ft. khachkar is symbolically adorned with an emblem of hope and light. From the bosom of the rock a door is ajar–above which is Noah’s pigeon–which survived cataclysm and destruction. On top of the khachkar Mt. Ararat arises with grandeur–and below the mountain are clouds and Pegasus dashing forth–representing good fortune and victory. On either side of the khachkar–the name of the benefactor’s parents–and scripture relevant to the 1700th anniversary are inscribed.
The Zakarian Khachkar sits next to a water fountain symbolizing the Armenian nation’s constant advancement.
Among those present at the inauguration were advisor to President Robert Kocharian–and Armenian Revolutionary Federation Executive Council of Armenia Vahan Hovanessian; Armenian Consul General to Los Angeles Armen Melkonian; ARF Central Committee representative Vicken Hovsepian; Glendale City Councilmembers Larry Zarian–Sheldon Baker–Dave Weaver; Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich; Congressman Jim Rogan representative Greg Krikorian; State Senator Adam Schiff representative Mannik Khachadourian; members of the Prelacy Executive Council Dr. Hagop Der Megerdichian–Sarkis Kitsinian–Vahik Sadourian; Zakarian Khachkar benefactor Arthur Zakarian and sculptor Gaspar Gharibyan with their guests; and members of regional organizations and committees–and mass media representatives.
Following the unveiling of the khachkar–Bishop Mardirossian–Western Prelate of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America–inaugurated the khachkar with blessed soil. St. Mary’s Church Board of Trustees Chairman Stepan Kabadayan offered words of gratitude and appreciation. Asbarez English Section Editor Ara Khachatourian delivered a short message in English thanking and presenting the benefactor and sculptor of the Zakarian Khachkar. Khachatourian also acknowledged official guests in attendance.
LA County Supervisor Mike Antonovich presented a proclamation praising the St. Mary’s Church Board of Trustees with beautifying Glendale with the said khachkar.
Zakarian said that in addition to desiring to honor the memory of his parents–he wished to donate a khachkar to introduce to the non-Armenian public a true symbol of Armenian culture and art.