Washington, D.C. – The Armenian version of the 27-panel ANI exhibit “The United States Military in the Republic of Armenia 1919-1920,” which is based on documentary and photographic records created by the American Military Mission sent to Armenia by President Woodrow Wilson, is presently being in the publication Hay Zinvor, Armenian Soldier. Hay Zinvor is a publication at the Defense Ministry of the Republic of Armenia, where the exhibit was recently displayed.
Four installments of the exhibit have appeared to date, and will continue to be serialized. The exhibit may be viewed in the 2020 issues 11 (pages 20-21), 12 (pages 12-13), 14 (pages 26-27), 15 (pages 26-27) of Hay Zinvor:
“It was a very special privilege to see the ANI exhibit go on display at the Armenian defense ministry and to have Defense Minister Davit Tonoyan, US Ambassador Lynn Tracy, and Major General Lee Tafanelli of the Kansas National Guard do the opening,” stated ANI Chairman Van Z. Krikorian. “It is an equally great privilege to see this very special ANI exhibit become accessible in the Armenian language and to the Armenian-speaking public as one more example of the long and deep connections between Armenia and America,” added Krikorian.
The exhibit profiles several important American military figures, who rose to prominence as members of the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) that were sent overseas to France to join the fight against Germany during World War I. Many of these officers later joined the American Relief Administration (ARA), created to respond to the postwar situation in Europe where food shortages threatened famine. The ARA was also tasked with relieving the plight of vulnerable people in Armenia. Herbert Hoover, who at the time headed the ARA, tapped former U.S. Ambassador to the Ottoman Turkey Henry Morgenthau and General John J. Pershing, the commanding general of the AEF, for recommendations on the personnel to be assigned to Armenia. Many of the U.S. officers sent to Armenia were close associates of General Pershing and some were highly decorated veterans of battles in France where they turned the tide of the war in favor of the Allies.
President Woodrow Wilson dispatched two missions to Armenia, a military mission headed by General James G. Harbord, which investigated the political situation in the region, and a humanitarian mission headed by Colonel Willian N. Haskell, which was also tasked with overseeing the undertakings of the Near East Relief organization that the United States Congress formally incorporated as part of the humanitarian relief effort in response to the dire situation in Armenia.
“I want to thank the editors of Hay Zinvor who proposed publishing the Armenian version of the ANI exhibit and who are overseeing its serialization,” stated ANI Director Dr. Adalian. “We also appreciate their close coordination with the Armenian Assembly’s Yerevan office staff, who have been supporting this undertaking with the translation effort. It is no small undertaking to explain this significant and complicated chapter in American history to an Armenian audience and they have done a superb job. Considering the challenges of continuing to forge ahead under conditions created by the dangers of the COVID-19 pandemic, I want to extend special appreciation to the Hay Zinvor and Assembly Yerevan staff for dedicating their energies to properly commemorate the 105th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.”
Those who want to read future issues of Hay Zinvor can subscribe online. The publication is available for free to the public and contains past and current information about the Armenian military.
The United States Military in the First Republic of Armenia digital exhibit is the sixth exhibit developed by ANI. It follows upon other educational material developed for the centennial of the Armenian Genocide, including five large exhibits displaying hundreds of historic photographs. These exhibits include:
- American Relief in the First Republic of Armenian 1918-1920 (about the role of the YMCA)
- Iconic Images of the Armenian Genocide (also available as a slideshow)
- The First Deportation: The German Railroad, The American Hospital, and the Armenian Genocide
- The First Refuge and the Last Defense: The Armenian Church, Etchmiadzin, and the Armenian Genocide
- Witness to the Armenian Genocide: Photographs by the Perpetrators’ German and Austro-Hungarian Allies
- Survivors of the Armenian Genocide
All exhibits can be freely downloaded.
Founded in 1997, the Armenian National Institute (ANI) is a 501(c)(3) educational charity based in Washington, D.C., and is dedicated to the study, research, and affirmation of the Armenian Genocide.