Middlesex County Sheriff Peter Koutoujian won the Mkhitar Gosh Medal from the Armenian government to commend him for his work as a public servant. Koutoujian talked to the Wicked Local about why he won the award, meeting the Armenian prime minister and his Armenian heritage.
“My grandparents on my father’s side emigrated here during the Armenian Genocide, fleeing the village of Marash even while many of their friends, neighbors and relatives were not able to make it out alive. While fleeing, my grandparents became separated with my grandfather making it to the U.S. and my grandmother arriving in Aleppo, Syria. They were eventually reunited in the U.S. and raised their three sons and daughter here, forever grateful for the refuge and opportunity the country provided them,” the Sheriff said.
Peter Koutoujian said he was just completely awestruck to receive the award. “I had no idea I would be presented the medal so I was very emotional when Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan pinned me. I have been blessed to have been born with Armenian blood and to be recognized by the Republic of Armenia, to have people over there taking note of what we are doing over here was a tremendous honor,” he said.
“I think this is more of a lifetime achievement award than an award for any one thing I did as a legislator or now as Sheriff. I have been as active and as vocal as I can be on issues impacting the Armenian community, but perhaps my greatest achievement was spearheading the creation of the Armenian Heritage Park in Boston. To hold my children’s’ hands and walk through the park and know it will be there for them to walk through with their children is a very powerful feeling,” the Sheriff said.