Fresno’s Armenian community hopes to recognize three prominent founders of an organization that helped resettle about 25,000 Armenians from World War II labor camps to America with a memorial at the Masis Ararat Armenian Cemetery.
The late George Mardikian and Suren Saroyen and Brig. Gen. Haig Shekerjian were instrumental in the formation of the American National Committee to Aid Homeless Armenians, or ANCHA, said Sophie Mekhitarian of the Mardikian/Saroyan Memorial Fund at Fresno’s Holy Trinity Armenian Apostolic Church. ANCHA and other relief organizations coordinated the relocation of displaced ethnic Armenians from German labor camps and from elsewhere in Europe and the Middle East in the years following World War II.
Shekerjian, who was buried in San Francisco, died in 1966. Mardikian, who died in 1977, and Saroyan, who died in 1995, are both buried at the Ararat cemetery in Fresno. Mekhitarian estimates that a memorial monument to the men will cost about $20,000. Contributions can be made to Holy Trinity Armenian Apostolic Church, Mardikian/Saroyan Memorial Fund, 537 M St., Fresno, CA 93721. Details: firstname.lastname@example.org.