Story by a great grandchild of a survivor.
“My great grandmother, Arzoon, was born and raised in the Armenian village of Havav in Palu turkey. She was around the age of 18 or 19 in 1915. She was married with a newborn baby. She lost her entire family to the genocide with the exception of a brother and sister who were already in America. She was sent on the death march with her mother and her baby. Her mother died on that March. The only hope she had for her baby daughter to survive was to leave her in a shady spot and hope someone would find her and take her in. She lived the rest of her life never knowing the fate of her daughter. Arzoon survived the walk to Syria where a family of strangers gave her shelter. I believe she ended up in an orphanage where she was eventually found by Haig, my great grandfather. Haig was also from Havav. I’ve yet to figure out this man. He was in important figure in the village. I’ve heard stories of how he was the only man allowed horses and a gun back in Havav. He was in America with a few of his brothers when he received news of the genocide. He immediately joined the French foreign legion with one of his brothers. They went back and they fought. Haig made it back to America but his brother did not survive. In the years after the genocide Haig would pay men to go back and find other havatsis who may have survived and bring them back to America. Arzoon was one who was found. She was brought back to America where she and Haig married in 1921. They raised their children and ran a grocery store in NYC. Two Armenians from a small village reunited in America as immigrants and refugees to continue their story of survival. Arzoon lived into her 80’s with bullets still remaining in her back. I remember her as she would sit in her rocking chair, dressed in all black watching my brother and I play at my grandparents house. My great grandfather died long before I was born. All I know of him are pictures. I feel like the two of them have watched over me