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Armenian National Institute Exhibit Opens at Republic of Armenia’s Ministry of Defense

Major General Lee Tafanelli of the Kansas Army National Guard with U.S. military delegation, U.S. Ambassador Lynne Tracy, Dr. Ashot Melkonian of the Armenian Academy of Sciences, and Defense Minister Davit Tonoyan at the Republic of Armenia’s Defense Ministry for the opening of the ANI exhibit.

YEREVAN, ARMENIA – United States Ambassador to Armenia Lynne Tracy and Kansas Army National Guard Adjutant-General, Major General Lee Tafanelli, joined Armenia’s Minister of Defense Davit Tonoyan for the opening of the exhibit “The United States Military in the First Republic of Armenia 1919-1920” on January 27 at the Republic of Armenia’s Ministry of Defense in Yerevan.

Created by the Washington, D.C.-based Armenian National Institute, the new exhibit focuses on the enormous extent of humanitarian assistance rendered by the United States to Armenia in the aftermath of World War I through the services of American military missions sent to Armenia.

In his opening remarks, Minister Tonoyan thanked Ambassador Tracy for the support extended by the United States in recent years to Armenia. Reflecting on the historical exhibit, Tonoyan noted that: “For many, U.S. assistance during those years was critical, especially the new opportunities created to provide education thanks to which many Armenians received schooling during that difficult time and went on to make impressive achievements.”

Ambassador Tracy delivered welcoming remarks congratulating those present on the occasion of the 28th anniversary of the Armenian Army and spoke about the important work done over the past 100 years.

U.S. General Tafanelli along with his delegation of officers viewed the exhibit and are in Yerevan as part of the U.S.-Armenia military partnership program.

U.S. Ambassador Lynne Tracy, Major General Lee Tafanelli, and Babken Vartanian at the Republic of Armenia’s Defense Ministry for the opening of the ANI exhibit.

Regional Director Arpi Vartanian, speaking on behalf of the Armenian Assembly of America and the Armenian National Institute, pointed out the importance of the high level military mission that U.S. President Woodrow Wilson dispatched to Armenia and stressed their effective intervention in stabilizing the humanitarian crisis in the country despite the small size of the American contingents. She thanked as well Armenia’s servicemen on the occasion of the 28th anniversary of the founding of Armenia’s modern-day army.

The 27-panel exhibit documents the tremendous importance of the U.S. humanitarian intervention during the most difficult years in the life of the newly-formed Armenian state. Based upon the photographic collection of an American medical officer, Dr. Walter P. Davenport, the exhibit reveals the depth and breadth of measures taken by U.S. military personnel to stabilize the humanitarian crisis in Armenia, and especially the caretaking of the most vulnerable part of the population through hospitals, orphanages, food distribution points, and other facilities.

Subtitled “The American Relief Administration and Walter Davenport of the U.S. Army Medical Corps,” the exhibit reveals how in 1919, U.S. military personnel and civilian aid workers cared for tens of thousands of children. As Dr. Davenport reported: “At the present time we are furnishing food and medical relief to 75,000 children daily, this work being done through the medium of orphanages, orphanage hospitals, soup kitchens, cocoa kitchens, milk stations, bread distributing points, orphanage infirmaries, and public dispensaries.”

Dr. Walter P. Davenport with local Armenian medical staff.

The Davenport collection of photographs not only documents the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Armenia, but also the measurable difference American relief efforts made in the span of only a few months. The exhibit displays official and personal records related to Dr. Davenport’s activities in Armenia, which he subsequently reported in The Military Surgeon journal. With 103 photographs, 3 maps, 14 documents, and several newspaper articles, the exhibit pictorially reconstructs the conditions that U.S. military personnel witnessed in Armenia.

The digital version of the ANI exhibit is available on online and free to download from the ANI website where five other exhibits may be viewed. Designed for instructional purposes, the exhibits explain several aspects of the Armenian Genocide that were well documented photographically.

Happy Thanksgiving 2019

On behalf of all of us at FLArmenians.com, we wish you and your family a happy and safe Thanksgiving. If you’re in a televised viewing area, we encourage you to watch and donate to the Armenia Fund’s 22nd Annual International Thanksgiving Telethon! And if you’re not in a viewing area, don’t worry, it will be LIVE STREAMED on the internet.

The 2019 Armenia Fund Telethon carries the theme “To my lovely Armenia: life-giving water and sun for communities.”

With your generous support this year, you will make it possible to bring drinking water to villages that remain deprived of this most crucial resource. Your donation will also make thousands of acres of land available for agriculture, by bringing irrigation water to hard-working farmers. As importantly, your donation will help Armenia and Artsakh become energy-independent, by expanding solar-power projects throughout both republics.

Armenia Fund Telethon2019-LOGO-EngArmenia Fund USA, based in Los Angeles, CA will carry out these projects through its implementing partner in Armenia, the Hayastan All-Armenian Fund — with strict adherence to our abiding values of transparency, accountability, and absolute commitment to project quality and delivery.

Please consider making a donation today at www.armeniafund.org/donate.

Thankfully yours,

Taniel Koushakjian and Arsine Kaloustian

Having become a Thanksgiving Day tradition for Armenians around the world, the Telethon will Livestream Online from Los Angeles and air coast to coast and internationally.

Armenia Fund will host the 22nd International Thanksgiving Day Telethon on November 28, 2019 from 10am to 8pm PST.

Click here to Watch the Telethon.

Florida Armenians Welcome New Armenian Ambassador to the United States

Taniel Koushakjian with H.E. Varuzhan Nersessian, Ambassador of the Republic of Armenia to the U.S., at the Embassy of Armenia in Washington, DC – February 4, 2019

WASHINGTON, DC – In February, Florida Armenians Editor Taniel Koushakjian travelled to the nation’s capital for a series of meetings with government officials, NGO’s, and policy makers. During his time, he met with Armenia’s new Ambassador to the U.S., His Excellency Varuzhan Nersesyan, and welcomed him back to the United States in his new capacity. They discussed a series of issues of concern to the Armenian American community.

Koushakjian conveyed the congratulations of several thousand Armenian Americans in Florida who cheered the democratic movement of the citizens of Armenia and the peaceful transition of power that swept across Armenia in 2018. He also invited Ambassador Nersesyan to visit the Sunshine State in 2020.

Ambassador Nersesyan is no stranger to Washington, DC. From April 2008 to December 2012, he served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy of the Republic of Armenia to the United States.

President of the United States Donald J. Trump accepts the credentials of the Ambassador of the Republic of Armenia to the U.S. His Excellency Varuzhan Nersesyan in the Oval Office, The White House, Washington, DC – January 11, 2019

Nersesyan is the first Armenian Ambassador to the U.S. under Armenian President Nikol Pashinyan. He presented his credentials to the President of the United States Donald J. Trump in a ceremony in the Oval Office on January 11, 2019. During a brief conversation, President Trump and Ambassador Nersesyan highlighted the steps towards expanding the US-Armenia bilateral relationship in several areas. The interlocutors emphasized the role of the Armenian American community in enhancing the friendship between the two nations.