VIENNA, Va, October 25, 2011 — Armenian Khachadour Paul Garabedian served in the Civil War as a Third Assistant Engineer in the U. S. Navy. He is the only known Armenian to have been a part of the troops during the War Between the States.
Time erodes all things including Garabedian’s original grave marker, thus leading the Philadelphia Armenian-American Veterans Association to place a new khatchkar, or traditional Armenian cross-stone, in its place at Fernwood Cemetery, Philadelphia.
Under the guidance of Paul Sookiasian, a young Armenian with friends in the Philadelphia Aremenian-American Veterans Association, some fifty persons, along with five Armenian priests, a color guard of Boy Scouts, and other interested observers, the new marker was recently placed.
Haykaram (“Hayk”) Nahapetyan, a journalist with the Washington, DC office of the Public TV Company of Armenia, was present at the ceremony in order to help broadcast the events to other Civil War and Armenian history and interested media outlets, including this column. His sharing of this video clip is gratefully acknowledged.
Mr. Hayk’s video of his coverage at the ceremony (see below) records the solemn ceremony which began with Mr. Gary Koltookian of Massachusetts who discovered Garabedian’s name in an old phone book at an antique sale, thus beginning the research that lead to this moment.
Paul Sookiasian, part of the reserach group and integral to the development of The Civil War column The Civil War’s only Armenian soldier to be honored previously run, speaks second.
This story and interest in the prescence of Armenian soldiers troops in The Civil War has lead to the knowledge of at least six Armenian men who were trained as doctors and were hired by the Union Army to assist in treating the sick and wounded at various hospitals where such service was extremely valuable.
However, Mr. Garabedian remains the only known Armenian to have actually served in a military combat position. As always, we express our appreciation to Mr. Garabedian and all the troops, and their families, that have served this country in peace and conflict.
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