Two French-Armenians historians, Anahide Ter Minassian and Raymond Kevorkian, are among five Armenian recipients of the French Legion of Honor (Ordre national de la Légion d’honneur), the highest decoration in France, in 2015, the reports.
By decree of French President Francois Hollande dated Dec. 31, 2015, the Grand Chancellor of the National Order of the Legion of Honour published the names of the honorees, which also include Professor Serge Nazarian, and pharmacist and former president of the Armenian Association for Social Assistance André Yédikardachian.
Armenian-American professor Mark Moogalian, the first passenger to tackle a gunman aboard an Amsterdam-Paris train on Aug. 21, 2015, was awarded the Legion of Honor in September 2015.
Ter Minassian, whose work focuses on modern Armenian history, teaches at l’École des hautes études en sciences sociales (School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences) and the Pantheon-Sorbonne University. Ter Minassian has published several books about Armenia and the Armenian Genocide, including La question arménienne (The Armenian Question) in 1983; 1918-1920-La République d’Arménie (1918-1920-The Republic of Armenia) in 1989; Histoires croisées: diaspora, Arménie, Transcaucasie (Intersecting histories: Diaspora, Armenia, Transcaucasia) in 1997; and Smyrne, la ville oublié: Mémoires d’un grand port ottoman, 1830-1930(Smyrna, The Forgotten City: Memories of a Great Ottoman Port, 1830-1930) in 2006.
Kévorkian is a lecturer at the University of Paris VIII: Vincennes–Saint-Denis, and serves as research director at the French Institute of Geopolitics (Institut Français de Géopolitique). Kevorkian is also the director of Paris’s Nubarian Library and the editor ofRevue d’Histoire arménienne contemporaine (The Journal of Contemporary Armenian History). In 2006, Kevorkian published The Armenian Genocide: A Complete History, the first book on the Armenian Genocide to make extensive use of the archives of the Nubarian Library. In 2010, he received the Presidential Award from Armenian President Serge Sarkisian in recognition of his scholarly work in Armenian history.
On Sept. 13, 2015, Armenian-American Mark Moogalian, the 51-year-old Sorbonne professor who was identified by the UK’s the Daily Telegraph as the first passenger to tackle gunman Ayoub El-Khazzani on Aug. 21 aboard an Amsterdam-Paris train, was awarded the French Legion of Honor by French President Francois Hollande.
During the high-speed train ride, Moogalian tackled El-Khazzani, who was armed with an AK-47 assault rifle. It is reported that he instinctively acted to protect his wife, Isabella Risacher, and managed to take the assault rifle away from El-Khazzani. The assailant drew another gun and shot Moogalian in the neck, revealed the professor’s sister, who was also on the train. Moogalian’s heroism, along with the actions of Americans Alek Skarlatos, Spencer Stone, and Anthony Sadler, and Briton Chris Norman, helped save many lives. Skarlatos, Stone, Sadler, and Norman were awarded the Legion of Honor soon after the attack. Hollande had announced he would award Moogalian the Legion of Honor once he had recuperated.
The French Legion of Honor, established by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802, is awarded for excellent civil or military conduct.