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Miami Herald Publishes Op-Ed on the Passing of Harry Pilafian, South Florida’s Last Armenian Genocide Survivor

On Christmas Day, the Miami Herald published an op-ed by Harout Jack Samra, a Miami-based attorney of Armenian heritage. His article calls attention to the recent passing of Harry Pilafian (1921-2014), a grandfather, father, husband, veteran, and genocide survivor.

Miami Herald-Pilafian

Below is an excerpt from Samra’s article and a link to the full story.

Annually, Armenians around the world gather on April 24 to commemorate the Armenian Genocide. Survivors of this national calamity stand at the front of each assembly as symbols of a people’s capacity to survive.

With each passing year in South Florida, with the commemoration reaching its centennial, survivors have grown fewer. Two weeks before Christmas, South Florida’s last known Armenian genocide survivor died.

Harry Pilafian was born in Tekirdag, in Thrace, during the final years of the Ottoman Empire. His mother and father had fled their home to Damascus in 1918. Their first son, James, was born in that ancient city.

During a period of calm, the family, like so many others, tried to return home. This is when Pilafian was born.

You can read the article in full by clicking here.