Tag: Morgenthau

16 Aug 2019

Upstanding Robert Morgenthau Laid To Rest

On July 22, 2019, the Armenian Bar Association, like legion of admirers within and outside of the Armenian community, heard with deep sorrow and accepted with heavy heart the news of the passing of a bold and brave paragon of high moral character, Robert M. Morgenthau.

Mr. Morgenthau passed away 10 days short of his 100th birthday and will be remembered as an irreproachable public figure, most notably—for Americans – as New York’s long-serving district attorney and—for Armenians—as the grandson of U.S. Ambassador Henry Morgenthau.

Knowing well that the Morgenthau family inhabits a hallowed sanctuary within the annals of American and Armenian history, separately and inter-connectedly, our leadership in New York immediately contacted the Foreign Minister of Armenia, Armenia’s Ambassador to the U.S., and Armenia’s Ambassador to the United Nations, advising of the rueful report of Mr. Morgenthau’s passing and requesting a letter of condolence from Armenia’s Prime Minister.   We also reached out to our spiritual leaders at the Diocese and the Prelacy, securing their representation at Mr. Morgenthau’s memorial service.

We, for our own part, prepared and issued a timely and touching press release. [See Armenian Bar Association Mourns the Loss of Robert M. Morgenthau.] It was widely disseminated among our members and friends.

On the eve of the memorial service at the Frank Campbell Funeral Chapel, accompanied by U.N. Ambassador Mher Margaryan and with the facilitation of Ambassador Varuzhan Nersesyan, Armenian Bar Board member Souren Israelyan personally delivered Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s letter of condolence to the Morgenthau family in which the head of government conveyed the Armenian nation’s sympathies and gratitude. [See https://www.primeminister.am/en/condolence/item/2019/07/24/Nikol-Pashinyan-condolences/.]

On the morning of the memorial service, July 25, 2019, a delegation of Armenian Bar representatives assembled in homage to and honor of Mr. Morgenthau at Temple Emanu-El, Judaism’s largest house of worship in the world.  The Morgenthau family envisioned the service as a celebration of Robert Morgenthau’s resplendent lights of life rather than as a mournful elegy of his demise.  The temple teemed with thousands of devotees of the lasting legacy of Mr. Morgenthau.  Prominent among the attendees were priests of the Armenian Church who, cloaked in our centuries-old religious vestments, greeted the family and represented our traditional faith and unifying ecumenicalism.

As widely reported in the media, United States Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and the high societies of law and public officialdom came together in a non-partisan tribute to the rectitude and righteousness of Mr. Morgenthau. [See for example https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.nydailynews.com/new-york/ny-morgenthau-funeral-sotomayer-20190725-flpwdgupijevdoxy5r4ogcgmya-story.html%3foutputType=amp.]

At the memorial service, Senior Rabbi Emeritus Ronald Sobel highlighted the transformational heritage of the Morgenthau family, starting with Henry Morgenthau, Sr.,  the U.S. Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire during the Armenian Genocide, followed by Henry Morgenthau, Jr., the U.S. Secretary of Treasury during President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administration, and then encapsulated by the dearly departed, Robert Morgenthau. Mr. Morgenthau’s children and close friends spoke about his incredible life and as an exemplar of an honest and high-minded individual who, through the gift of a long and distinguished life, pioneered many causes of justice, to the very last of his days.

In his eulogy, Bob Morgenthau, the eldest of Robert Morgenthau’s sons, remembered how his father cherished loyalty in general, and the allegiance of the Armenian community in particular. He noted that, while all of the survivors of the Armenian Genocide have passed away, the Armenian community’s bonds of respect and admiration for the Morgenthau family have never diminished.  Speaking about that continuity of affinity, Bob Morgenthau pledged that the Morgenthau family’s deep and meaningful relationship with the Armenian community will remain vibrant for future generations.

While the Armenian Bar Association felt humbled last month to witness the truly moving ceremony of Robert Morgenthau’s final journey, just last year we had the good fortune of welcoming Mr. Morgenthau to our Public Servants Dinner at the Yale Club.

There, on April 26, 2018, on what have been the 162nd birthday of his grandfather Henry Morgenthau, Robert Morgenthau received one of the Armenian Bar Association’s highest honors.  The magnificent gala dinner was attended by hundreds of judges, public officials, dignitaries and, of course, by members and friends of the Armenian Bar Association.  Please see our reporting of the event and also for the text of Robert Morgenthau’s remarks as he accepted our Public Servants Award. [Video] [Speech]

24 Jul 2019

ARMENIAN BAR ASSOCIATION MOURNS THE LOSS OF ROBERT M. MORGENTHAU

The Armenian Bar Association mourns the loss of a renowned public servant and legal titan, Robert Morgenthau, who dedicated himself to a long and prominent life in public service.  Scion of a family dedicated to public service and noted for its devotion to the Armenian people, Robert Morgenthau, distinguished himself for serving in the nation’s military, as the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and most famously and prominently as the Manhattan District Attorney.

Robert Morgenthau and his family will forever be endeared in the hearts of Armenians everywhere for their unwavering support of the Armenian people during their darkest hours. His grandfather, Henry Morgenthau Sr., who served as the United States ambassador to the Ottoman Empire from 1913-1916, was steadfast and resolute in drawing the world’s attention to the systematic atrocities, massacres and deportation marches committed by the Turkish government against Armenians in Turkey. Robert Morgenthau continued the work of his grandfather in never letting the world forget about Turkey’s systematic destruction of its Armenian population that became known as the Armenian genocide. In a more recent article in the January 18, 2018 issue of The Wall Street Journal, he asked the question “Will Trump Tell the Truth About the Armenian Genocide?”

At the end of that Wall Street Journal article, Robert Morgenthau eloquently argued and pled:

Every April, the president issues a proclamation recognizing the atrocity that was inflicted on the Armenian people. But bowing to Turkish pressure, that proclamation has never contained the word “genocide.” That must change.

I do not underestimate the concerns of those who say the wrath of Turkey may work against U.S. interests—as I do not dismiss those who say moving the embassy to Jerusalem may complicate peace negotiations. But a just and lasting world order cannot be built on falsehoods and equivocations. Let President Trump demonstrate that commitment once more by declaring the truth of the Armenian genocide. This would send clear message to the thugs in power around the world: Your criminal acts will not go unnoticed.

Because of his unwavering support of the Armenian people, The Armenian Bar Association honored Robert Morgenthau at its annual Public Servant’s Dinner in April 2018, where he gave a stirring and passionate speech. In what were probably his final words on the subject he said:

Today, I am told that I am in retirement. But my grandfather’s voice will not let me rest. For there is unfinished business before us. None of us can rest until there is universal acknowledgment of the Armenian Genocide.

As Robert Morgenthau and his family have never forgotten the Armenians, the Armenians will never forget Robert Morgenthau and his family. Our deepest condolences go out to his family.

In the words of the venerable Armenian parable, three apples fell from heaven: one for the storyteller; one for the listener; and one for the story itself, Robert M. Morgenthau. Asdvatz hokin lusavore.

Funeral Services will be held on Thursday at Temple Emanu-El at Fifth Avenue and 65th Street, New York City, at 11:00 A.M.