By Malvina Mardirosyan, Esq.
On April 26, 2018, on the occasion of what would have been the 162th birthday of Ambassador Henry Morgenthau, Sr. – one of the greatest supporters of the survival of the Armenian people, the Chapter honored four public servants who have demonstrated extraordinary leadership and years of dedicated service to the community:
• Honorary Robert M. Morgenthau, grandson of Ambassador Henry Morgenthau, Sr. and District Attorney (former), New York County, and Of Counsel, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz
• Honorable Claire C. Cecchi, U.S. District Court Judge, District of New Jersey
• Honorable Deborah H. Karalunas, Justice, NYS Supreme Court and President, Association of Justices of the Supreme Court of the State of New York
• Honorable Richard S. Hartunian, United States Attorney (former), Northern District of New York, and Partner,Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP
The magnificent gala dinner was attended by many judges and dignitaries including his Eminence Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, his Eminence Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan and Hon. Zohrab Mnatsakanian, then Armenia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, presently the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia. Three generations of the Morgenthau family were in attendance including, Robert Morgenthau, honoree, his son – Bob, and grandson – Harry who is now a member of ArmenBar. The prominence of the event was also marked by attendance from other bar associations’ leadership including Michael Miller, President of New York State Bar Association.
Attendees enjoyed a cocktail hour at the Yale Club terrace overlooking the NYC skyline, followed by awards dinner program at the elegant ballroom. Saro Kerkonian, Chairman of the ArmenBar gave opening remarks, “Tonight, we honor and recognize public servants, that special breed of humanity who often disregard and subordinate personal gain to follow, instead, a career path which advances the greater good, protecting and uplifting the entire community through their public service.”
On acceptance of this year’s award, Mr. Morgenthau gave a poignant speech about the Armenian people and his grandfather’s legacy. Mr. Morgenthau emphasized the Armenian cause by referring to a well-penned letter by him to the editor of the Wall Street Journal entitled “Will Trump Tell the Truth About the Armenian Genocide?” that was published earlier this year.
East Coast Chapter Co-Chairs, Denise Darmanian and Gary Moomjian, remarked, “In the sixteen months of its existence, the New York/New Jersey/Connecticut Chapter of the Armenian Bar Association has been on an amazing ride. This event continues our momentum and the ride will not stop here. Special thanks go to the event planning committee co-chairs Souren Israelyan and John Halebian and the twenty-one active members of the committee. We are enormously grateful and proud of each.”
The event received wide media coverage and was published on Page 2 of the New York Law Journal, April 30, 2018 edition.