LOS ANGELES — On Tuesday, April 4, 2017, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors honored Dr. Garbis Der-Yeghiayan at the Kenneth Hahn Administration Building in Los Angeles. The large crowd attending the event burst into applause when Supervisor Kathryn Burger proclaimed April as Armenian History Month in the County of Los Angeles. She invited Dr. Der-Yeghiayan, President of Mashdots College, to join her and all the County Supervisors at the dais for a special recognition. Supervisor Barger introduced the honoree describing him as a “Uniquely gifted leader for all seasons” and expressed profound appreciation for his life-long dedication as an inspiring educator, renowned scholar, prolific author, Rotary International leader, Inmate Welfare Services Commissioner of the Sheriff’s Department of Los Angeles County, family man, and peacemaker. She presented a special scroll to Dr. Der-Yeghiayan “in recognition of his 40-year dedicated service to the affairs of the community and for the civic pride demonstrated by numerous contributions for the benefit of the citizens of Los Angeles County.” The scroll carried the signatures of all five Supervisors and it was beautifully adorned with ribbons representing the colors of the Armenian flag.
In his acceptance speech, Dr. Der-Yeghiayan paid a special tribute to the Armenian community in Los Angeles County dedicating the award to the memory of more than 2 million Armenian martyrs of the first Genocide of the 20th century, including 43 members of his family, who were brutally killed by the Turkish government in 1915. He expressed his gratitude to the Supervisors for proclaiming April as Armenian History Month throughout the County. His inspiring and powerful speech had a strong impact on the audience gathered to witness the historic event. “We are a resurrected nation, although ruthlessly driven from our ancestral homeland and denied our precious liberties, we, as Armenians, have never forgotten our beloved heritage and have carried with us our deep pride and resolved to prevail wherever we have settled”, he said. He thanked the supervisors for according the vibrant Armenian community the great opportunity of living, toiling, and thriving in the County, and the privilege of preserving and propagating our rich cultural heritage through the establishment of a score of churches, schools, a college, cultural and youth centers, and making significant contributions for the betterment of our society in the County and throughout the United States of America. “We pledge to continue our noble efforts with vision and action to bring honor to our Armenian heritage, to the County of Los Angeles, and to the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave, and to bring glory to God from whom all blessings flow. What I am today and what I will be tomorrow, it is only by the grace of the Lord” he concluded.
It was a most memorable historic event witnessed by more than one thousand attendees, including Armenia’s Consul, the Honorable Valery Mkrtoumyan, representatives of Armenian organizations, Rotary International leaders, Inmate Welfare Services Commissioners, and the local media.