On 09 September, His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, blessed the grounds of the Armenian Heritage Park in Boston, Massachusetts. The park will commemorate the 1.5 million victims killed during the Armenian Genocide. The park is located in the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway.
In his remarks, His Holiness reflected on the significance of the park and the memorial, stating in part, “…today, we are gathered together to reconfirm the vision and spirit of our predecessors. We dedicate this ground in memory of the 1.5 million victims of the Armenian Genocide, but not only for them. We consecrate it as well in memory of all victims of genocide – before and after 1915 – for the victims of the Holocaust, of Cambodia, of Rwanda and Darfur.”
“…We Armenians also know well the pain of loss and untimely death, and the victory of hope and love that comes from our deep, abiding faith in God; because for more than 1,700 years, God has been our only and unfailing refuge. And it is with that conviction that we dedicate this land…”
In attendance were the Governor of Massachusetts, Deval Patrick; Massachusetts State Representative Peter Koutoujian; along with high ranking government officials and community leaders. His Holiness was accompanied by Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Eastern Diocese of North America; Archbishop Vicken Aykazian, Ecumenical Officer of the Eastern Diocese; Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan; Reverend Father Shahe Ananian and Reverend Father Ktrij Devejian, both from the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin; James Kalustian, Supreme Spiritual Council member and President of the Armenian Heritage Foundation; local clergy, faithful and guests.
Upon its completion, the park will feature a reflecting pool, a sculpture, which reconfigures annually, to honor the immigration experience, and a labyrinth of grass and inlaid stone. In addition to honoring those who lost their lives, it is also meant to celebrate the immigrant experience, paying tribute to immigrant Americans who distinguished themselves in the arts, sciences, education, commerce and public service.