WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly) featured The Honorable Aram Bakshian, Jr. as the guest speaker at its Annual Holiday Reception last month at the Embassy of the Republic of Armenia. Bakshian spoke about “Armenia and the Armenian Diaspora: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow.”
“Armenia became more of a dream, an abstraction, than a practical reality. Like the vision of Mount Ararat just across the Turkish border, it was always in sight but just out of reach. Then, in 1991, with the disintegration of what Ronald Reagan called ‘The Evil Empire’ the Armenian nation rose from the ashes,” Bakshian said. “Meanwhile the Armenian diaspora had been an incredible success story all over the globe, especially in America. Thanks to both Church institutions and civic institutions like the Armenian Assembly of America, the latest generation of Armenian Americans is re-connecting with both the Armenian heritage and the reborn Armenian nation. But it’s a constant battle, and perhaps the greatest challenge we face: keeping the Armenian spirit alive and connected with each new generation of diaspora Armenians,” he added.
Bakshian continued: “I deeply believe that if institutions like the Church, the Assembly, and various youth-oriented programs do their jobs well, the same qualities that have made Armenians so successful in the New World — hard work, family, loyalty, faith, initiative, and pride in heritage — can forge unbreakable bonds of brotherhood between the young people of the diaspora and the young people of a reborn Armenia. It is our job to make sure that happens.”
“President Reagan is known as the ‘Great Communicator,’ which I suspect was in no small part attributable to Aram Bakshian, among his other speechwriters,” Armenian National Institute (ANI) Director Dr. Rouben Adalian said introducing Bakshian. Dr. Adalian was the Master of Ceremonies at the Armenian Assembly’s Annual Holiday Reception at the Armenian Embassy.
Bakshian has served as an aide and speechwriter to three U.S. Presidents and as Editor-in-Chief of American Speaker, an award-winning guide to public speaking and speechwriting, which he helmed from its founding in 1992 until his retirement 17 years later. He is currently a Contributing Editor of The National Interest and a regular columnist for The American Conservative. He served three tours of duty in the White House, with Presidents Nixon, Ford, and Reagan, and was Director of Presidential Speechwriting for President Reagan from 1981 to 1983. In 1986, President Reagan nominated him – and the Senate confirmed him – for a six-year term on the National Council for the Humanities.
“We appreciate Aram Bakshian’s thought-provoking remarks on Armenia’s long history, catching us up on today’s realities, and his vision for the future of Armenia and the Armenian Diaspora,” Assembly Executive Director Bryan Ardouny stated.
Photos from the Annual Holiday Reception can be found on the Armenian Assembly of America’s Facebook Page.
Established in 1972, the Armenian Assembly of America is the largest Washington-based nationwide organization promoting public understanding and awareness of Armenian issues. The Assembly is a non-partisan, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt membership organization.