Diocesan Primate the Very Rev. Fr. Daniel Findikyan was in Washington, DC, at the close of June for the opening of the annual Smithsonian Folk Festival, which this year is spotlighting Armenia among its featured cultural heritages.
The Primate presided over the opening prayer and antasdan (field-blessing) service on the grounds of the National Mall on June 28. Armenian clergy taking part in the service included Bishop Anoushavan Tanielian, Fr. Mardiros Chevian, Fr. Sarkis Aktavoukian, Fr. Hovnan Bozoian, and Fr. Hovsep Karapetyan, as well as Dn. Mark Krikorian.
The honored guest for the occasion was the visiting President of Armenia, Dr. Armen Sarkissian, who led the roster of dignitaries attending the festival opening.
That same evening Fr. Findikyan attended a special gathering at Armenia’s Embassy to the U.S., where Armenian President Sarkissian was formally welcomed by a large crowd of community leaders, including many from throughout the Eastern Diocese.
Armenia’s Ambassador to the U.S. Grigor Hovhannisyan hosted the event, which also marked the centennial of the First Armenian Republic. A sculpture of that earlier republic’s Ambassador to the U.S., Armen Garo (born Karekin Pastermadjian), was unveiled to public.
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