By Danielle Saroyan
Armenian Agenda Associate Editor
On October 20, World War II Veteran Kenneth Abrahamian took part in an
Honor Flight to Washington, D.C., where he saw the National World War II
Memorial for the first time. Abrahamian flew to Washington, along with 63 other
WWII Veterans from California’s Central Valley, from Bakersfield to Stockton.
He was accompanied by his son and grandson, Kenneth Abrahamian Jr. and
Kenneth Andrews Abrahamian.
Mate 3rd Class Abrahamian grew up in Fresno, California, where his
family went to escape the Armenian Genocide in 1915. Following his high school graduation,
he enlisted in the United States Navy to serve his country in WWII from
1942-1946. MM Abrahamian was stationed in the Pacific as a machinist mate
aboard the USS Spangler and the USS Ajax.
war, I felt like a normal American serving his country. I never expected a
special flight to D.C. and this touching Memorial. I am grateful to be able to
see it,” MM Abrahamian told Armenian Agenda. “And I am so honored to be here at
the Memorial and experience this with both my son and grandson,” he said.
MM Abrahamian was not the only veteran in his family. His three brothers,
Gabe, Richard, and Leon, also served during WWII. Gabe Abrahamian served as a
civilian welder in the Pearl Harbor Navy, Richard Abrahamian served in the
Marines in Guam, and Leon Abrahamian served in the Navy.
has been honored in the past for his service during WWII. On September 9, 2013,
Representative Jim Costa (D-CA) recognized MM Abrahamian in the House of
Representatives for his service and WWII Medals. He is the recipient of the
Philippine Liberation Medal, WWII Victory Medal, WWII Asiatic Pacific Medal,
Navy Good Conduct Medal, and American Campaign Medal. Following his visit to
the WWII Memorial, Representative Costa will host MM Abrahamian, his son, and
grandson and treat them to dinner.
Honor Flight is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing America’s
veterans with honor and closure by visiting memorials built for
their service to the nation. Honor Flight was co-founded by Jeff
Miller and Earl Morse. Morse is a physician assistant and retired Air Force
captain who worked in a Department of Veterans Affairs clinic in Springfield,
Ohio, where he saw many patients who were WWII veterans. To his surprise, most
veterans have never been to the National WWII Memorial and had no plans to
visit in the future. In order to honor America’s veterans, Miller and Morse
formed the Honor Flight, a free arrangement to travel to Washington, D.C. and
see the war memorials. Today, Morse was at the National WWII Memorial welcoming
the Central Valley Honor Flight and thanking each of the veterans for their
time served defending the United States.
Caption 1: Group photo of the Central Valley Honor Flight, consisting of 64
World War II Veterans (red jackets) and their guardians (navy blue jackets) at the National World War II
Caption 2: Veteran MM Kenneth Abrahamian with his son, Kenneth Abrahamian Jr.,
and grandson, Kenneth Andrews Abrahamian, next to Armenian Assembly Public
Affairs Associate Danielle Saroyan at the National World War II Memorial.
Caption 3: Veteran MM Kenneth Abrahamian at the National World War II Memorial.
Caption 4: Honor Flight Co-founder Earl Morse thanking Veteran MM Kenneth
Abrahamian for his service during WWII.
Caption 5: Veteran MM Kenneth Abrahamian taking a photo with a young student
who created a thank you card for him.