BOSTON – Middlesex Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian helped welcome newly naturalized American citizens during a reception at Boston’s Armenian Heritage Park on Thursday, September 21.
Sheriff Koutoujian led a procession of new citizens and their family members from the naturalization ceremony at Faneuil Hall to the park, where he and U.S. District Court Judge Indira Talwani offered remarks.
“America’s story is an unfinished book,” said Sheriff Koutoujian. “We are constantly adding chapters – not by one author, but by a chorus of them. These new Americans will contribute their own exciting chapters and I was honored to be present for this important milestone in their lives.”
The Armenian Heritage Park is a gift from the Armenian-American community as a public space to be enjoyed by all people of the Commonwealth.
The park includes an abstract sculpture that commemorates the immigrant experience and is reconfigured yearly as a symbol “of all who pulled away from their country of origin and came to these Massachusetts shores, establishing themselves in new and different ways,” according to the foundation.
The grandson of Armenian and Irish immigrants, Sheriff Koutoujian was recognized in 2011 by the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations (NECO) with the Ellis Island Medal for his efforts to help establish the park.
NECO’s Ellis Island Medal of Honor is awarded annually to outstanding American citizens from all walks of life who have distinguished themselves through significant contributions to this country.
“In an era of heated rhetoric regarding immigration, days like this remind us that America is still the sum of all her parts,” said Sheriff Koutoujian. “People still dream of being part of that shining city on the hill, a community where the potential of each individual is realized because we aspire to one, unified American dream.”
The welcoming ceremony was hosted by the Friends of Armenian Heritage Park in collaboration with the United States District Court, The Bostonian Society/ Old State House, Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the City of Boston, Eliot K-8 Innovation School, Faneuil Hall, Faneuil Hall Marketplace, Friends of Christopher Columbus Park, Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and the Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy.
Photo courtesy of Sheriff’s office. It is of Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian speaking at the Armenian Heritage Park.