By Joan F. Simoneau, Community Reporter
Marlborough – In observance of the 100th anniversary of Armenian Martyr’s Day, Mayor Arthur Vigeant presented a proclamation to Marlborough residents whose families were affected by the first genocide of the 20th century, when Armenian political and religious leaders in Constantinople were arrested, deported and put to death.
“Armenians have contributed greatly to Marlborough’s cultural, political, educational and economic heritage and helped strengthen the fabric of our community,” the proclamation stated. Present at the ceremony were local Attorney Sem Aykanian, son of the late Joseph Aykanian; and Susan, Walter and Martin Dermoorjian, whose ancestors were directly affected by the tragedy. They are all active in church-related activities in Framingham, Worcester and other communities that remember the tragic chapter in history and work together to ensure the future will be peaceful.
Marlborough City Clerk Lisa Thomas and members of her family participated in the march in Worcester April 18.
“Both of my parents were born in Worcester, but some of their siblings never made the trek from Armenia to the U.S.,” she said. “My mother’s brothers narrowly escaped the Ottoman Empire during the Armenian genocide from 1915-1923 in which 1.5 million Armenians were decimated. I am thankful that all over the world Armenians and other ethnicities are commemorating this special anniversary.”