Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan will stop in Watertown during his visit to Boston this week, including local churches, newspapers and the Armenian Museum of America.
Along with visits to the Armenian Genocide Memorial in Boston, the State House, MIT and Tufts’ Fletcher School of Diplomacy, the president plans a number of visits in Watertown.
President Sargsyan arrives Monday and be in the area through Wednesday. He will be visiting some local churches and organizations including St. Stephen’s Church, St. James Armenian Church, St. Stephen’s School and the Armenian Museum of America.
The following announcement about about President Sargsyan’s visit was sent out:
His Excellency Serzh Sargsyan will arrive in Boston and deliver messages at MIT, Harvard’s’ Kennedy School and the Fletcher School of Diplomacy beginning on March 29th, prior to traveling to Washington, D.C. for an International Nuclear Energy Summit.
New England is the home of the second largest Armenian American Community in the country and the President will also be visiting major Armenian institutions and churches in Watertown, the community boasts a number of churches, schools, organizations and the Armenian Museum of America and two weekly newspapers. Watertown and Worcester Massachusetts were the first communities settled by Armenians before and after the Armenian Genocide. The first Armenian Church is America is still in existence in Worcester, Massachusetts.
This is the 25th Anniversary of the Independence of Armenia which was established in 1991 subsequent to the breakup of the Soviet Union. Sargsyan has served as the countries civilian defense minister before becoming President. Armenia shares a warm relationship with the United States, the European Union and is part of NATO’s Partnership for Peace and participates in U.N. Peace Keeping deployments around the globe.
Armenia is strategically important as it also shares a border with Iran, Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan in the South Caucuses.
On the 29th of March, the President will begin by visiting the Old North Church in Boston with an ecumenical prayer service hosted by the Massachusetts Council of Churches and presided over by Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, of the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church and Archbishop Oshagan Chaloian, of the Eastern Prelecy of the Armenian Church, the service will be hosted by Rt. Rev. Gayle Harris, Suffragan Bishop of the Episcopal Church.
The Armenians share a long standing relationship with the Episcopal Church as Christians coming to America they were offered a place to worship in the Episcopal Church. Also on April 23rd, Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley will host the first Armenian Genocide Commemoration at Holy Cross Cathedral in the South End. His Holiness Pope Francis celebrated Mass last April in Rome and commemorated the 100th year of the Armenian Genocide.
The Armenian Presidential will also make his first visit Heritage Park on the Rose Kennedy Greenway and place a wreath at the Armenian Genocide Memorial. He will then make an official visit to the State House and have lunch with Governor Charlie Baker and constitutional officers.
President Sargsyan will then travel to Washington, D.C. with heads of state for the Nuclear Energy Summit energy summit hosted by President Barak Obama. Armenian-Americans number over 1,000,000 citizens in America.