Armenian American Veterans About
In 1947, several Armenian American veterans of World War II gathered at the Pine Tree Potato Chip Company located on Gorham Street in Lowell. The outcome of this meeting was a group named The Armenian American Veterans of Lowell. The two officers elected were Menas Boghosian as the first Commander and Kirk Kirkorian as the Finance Officer. The group worked hard and was able to obtain a state charter. On February 4, 1952, the group became The Armenian American Veterans of Lowell, Mass., Inc.
As a veterans group, they've helped veterans' hospitals, other veterans clubs and most importantly, not forgetting their heritage which has helped the Armenian Church of Lowell. The group has run Christmas parties and given Easter baskets to the Armenian children in the area on Easter day. After church services in May, the Veterans would give roses to the mothers for Mother's Day.
To this day the veterans have not forgotten their comrades or the ones who have died. The group pays their respect at a special grave site ceremony held with the color guard, prayers, a firing squad and a bugler playing taps. Flags are placed on every Memorial Day, giving the dead comrades a hero's salute.
This group has participated in the city of Lowell's Memorial Day parade for years and has organized the parade for the city of Lowell. They have also served on the Veterans Council of Lowell. Fran Minasian was elected Commander for the Lowell Veterans Council twice and also as Vice Commander once. Frank as honored by the Lowell Veterans Council with a citation for his work on the council.
The veterans celebrate Martyrs Day with the Lowell community along with the Church and community groups. One year the veterans joined the Lowell, Lawrence and Haverhill Martyrs Day celebration in Lawrence. The Veterans raised the flag on the Lawrence common, then lowered it to half mast with the firing squad firing three volleys and the bugler playing taps to give the highest honor in this country, a hero's salute.
On two occasions the City of Lowell, with the help of the Armenian American Veterans, celebrated Veterans Day on November 11th in the Saints Vartanantz Armenian Church of Lowell. It was the first time ever that the City of Lowell celebrated on Nov. 11th in any other church that the largest churches in Lowell. Although the Armenian Church of Lowell was very small, the city felt it was honoring the Armenian American Veterans who worked so hard for the Veterans Council.
In 1075, the Veterans bought a building located in Lowell, naming it the Sam Manoian Post #1 of Lowell and Mr. Jack Hagopian became the leader of the building committee. The building contained bowling alleys and they formed a veterans bowling group where members and friends bowled for years.
Since the Veterans didn't belong to any political association they made their own flag representing the Armenian American Veterans of Lowell. It was designed by a past member and a veteran of World War I, Mr. Harry Hoshmatian. This flag is still used for parades and when the color is used for different functions. The flag hangs in the Hall of the Flags in Lowell Veterans Memorial.
On November 16, 1986, the veterans presented a monument to the City of Lowell, dedicating it to our forefathers who came to Lowell and formed the Armenian community. this honors an ethnic (Armenian) group of People who built a church and the Armenian community which still holds a place of honor in the City of Lowell.
The Veterans Group is still actively working for scholarships to the ethnic group in the area. The veterans raise money by giving dances and there endeavors to help the young people in our area to further their education. This scholarship has been set up to last for years with the hopes of helping the community. Presently, the veterans give scholarships dinner dances to raise funds for these scholarships.