Last Armenian Genocide survivor in Merrimack Valley leaves proud legacy
Last Armenian Genocide survivor leaves proud legacy –
The local Armenian community was deeply sadden last week with the passing of the lone remaining survivor in the Merrimack Valley of the 1915-1923 Armenian Genocide, 102-year-old Nazali “Nellie” Nazarian.
As a very young child, Nellie was strapped to her mother’s back fleeing from the massacre of her village in eastern Turkey. Miraculously, Nellie and some of her family were able to escape from Turkey, and find refuge, like thousands of other Armenians at the turn of the 20th century, in the United States.
While Nellie had been recognized on many occasions as a genocide survivor, her presence at the recent unveiling of the Mother’s Hands Armenian Genocide Memorial at Lowell City Hall was a crowning tribute to her ordeal as an actual witness to the unspeakable suffering experienced by her fellow countrymen.
At the monument dedication, Nellie, braving a driving rain, took her place of honor by The Mother’s Hands memorial. Those hands on the stone could very well have been her own, symbolizing her unending pride in her Armenian heritage.
Nellie’s legacy will live through her many children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
ARA A. JEKNAVORIAN
Armenian National Committee