Hundreds of community members gathered at St. Mary’s Armenian Church for Requiem Service and memorial gathering for late Armenian Revolutionary Federation leader Vahan Hovannesian who passed away on December 28 after a long illness, Asbarez reports.
Prior to the Requiem Mass, Western Prelate Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian delivered a eulogy, in which he praised Hovannesian’s years of service to the ARF and the Armenian Nation, emphasizing his resolve for advancing and strengthening Armenia’s statehood and his role in the Karabakh Liberation movement.
Following the church service, community members descended to the Armenag Der Bedrossian Hall where a memorial gathering, organized by the ARF Western US Central Committee, took place, highlighting Hovannesian’s career and many contributions.
On behalf of the ARF CC, Vahe Bozoyan spoke of Hovannesian’s ties to the Western Region, stressing the many times he had visited the region and spoke at various ARF Day celebrations, community events and his keen approach to the community, where he became a beloved representative of Armenia and an exemplary activist for the Armenian Cause.
Chairman of the opposition Heritage Party in Armenia, Raffi Hovannisian, who was in attendance, also addressed the gathering. He spoke of the friendship and collegial bond the two shared and the mourned Hovannesian’s loss as a friend, but more important, as comrade in the quest to elevate Armenia as a true democratic state.
On behalf of the Western Diocese and Western Primate Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, Father Dajad Yardemian delivered a message of condolence and memorial prayers. On behalf of the Western Prelacy, Rev. Vazken Atmajian offered blessing and condolences.
The program started with Master of Ceremonies Saro Nazarian presenting Hovannesian’s biography, followed by video highlighting the ARF leader’s life from childhood to the present-day produced by Asbarez’s television affiliate in Armenia, Yerkir Media.
During the program and at its conclusion, Ara Sahakian performed Hovannesian’s favorite song, as well as the “Verkerov Li,” a patriotic song traditionally sung at the conclusion of a memorial gathering for an ARF member.