Armenian Genocide essay by fifth-grader honored by Monmouth County

History in all its forms – from the beauty of houses lovingly preserved to a fifth-grader’s essay about the horrors of the Armenian genocide – received recognition recently from the Monmouth County Historical Commission, Patch reports.

The Historical Commission announced the winners of the 2022 Fifth-Grade History Essay Contest.

“This year marks the Historical Commission’s 29th year of holding the annual essay contest, and each year I am captivated by the student’s historical essays,” said Commissioner Lillian G. Burry, liaison to the Historical Commission.

James Badishkanian from Oak Hill Academy in Middletown, a Spring Lake resident, was awarded first place for his essay, “A Boy From Dikranagerd.” And it was a riveting essay about his great-grandfather Robert’s harrowing survival of a genocide by Turks in the town of Dikranagerd.

The attack there killed Robert’s family, except for one other brother. They were two of eight siblings. The two eventually made their way to America, where Robert and his wife, Rose, worked in various jobs in the early 1900s and ultimately became owners of a bridal gown business in Orange, still in operation today, the essay said.

As James put it “this is a very heartbreaking part of my family history, but it is very important to keep tragic events from happening again. My appreciation for history has grown.”

Other students’ essays also were recognized by the commission.

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