An Open Letter On the Shoushi Liberation Anniversary
BY ARAM SUREN HAMPARIAN
My fellow Armenians,
Turkey and Azerbaijan are using their wealth and power to lie about our history, crush our homeland, and destroy our future.
The attack that they have launched is against all of us.
Not just those in the Diaspora or in Armenia or Artsakh.
They are targeting each and every Armenian.
Me and you. Our sisters and brothers. The young and old.
From all corners of the earth – from Armenia, Artsakh and Javakhk to America, Europe, Russia, and the Middle East.
Just like 1915. Just like 1988.
Theirs is a modern, multi-million dollar campaign to finish the work of the Genocide.
Their weapons have changed, but not their aims. They seek – as did their forefathers:
To crush Armenia.
To capture Artsakh.
To empty our homeland.
And to destroy our Diaspora.
They have vast resources, and they are not holding any in reserve.
We don’t have their government revenues or oil dollars, but we do have something more powerful:
And our will.
We are each an ambassador for our nation.
We are – every man, woman, and child – a soldier for our cause.
Together, as a Diaspora, we represent the second Army of the Armenian nation – an unmatched international legion – protecting our homeland, preserving our heritage, and advancing our rights.
An Army of identity, of ideas, of inspiration.
As citizen soldiers, we are not called upon the make the sacrifices of those brave sentinels who stand guard today along the frontiers of Armenian freedom
But the enemies we face are just as dangerous. The stakes of our struggle just as high.
This is our generation’s Avarayr. Our Sardarabad. Our Shushi.
Khrimyan Hyrig, in honoring St. Vartan, wrote: “You perished, and Armenia arose.”
So too is it for each of us.
All of us Vartans, struggling on our own Vaspurakan, striving, searching, and sacrificing for a better tomorrow. Not for only ourselves, but for all our brothers and sisters. Not simply for today, but for all our tomorrows.
That is the price of Armenia’s survival.
For, as Mer Hayrenik teaches us, “death is the same everywhere; A man dies but once; but blessed is he who gives his life for the freedom of his nation.”
So much has changed, but that simple truth has not.
Our nation calls to us today, as she has so often through the centuries.
The words of Charents echo in our hearts:
“Ov Hye Zhoghovourd, ko miak prkootyune ko havakakan uzhi mej eh.”
“Oh! Armenian People, Your Salvation Lies Only in Your Collective power.”
The songs of our youth still stirs our souls:
“Zartir Lao, mrnem kzi.”
Awake, my son, I would die for you.
A mother awakening her son for battle, just as our mother, Mayr Hairenik, tearfully summons us, her children, to her defense.
Let us rally to the call of our nation.
Let us rise together to the challenge of our age.
Let us unite, and show our true power.
Working with and for and through the Hai Tahd movement, as the proud sons and daughters of one Armenian Nation – one Armenian Cause – we will, as we must, defend the Armenian people in this hour of danger.
It is the devotion we owe to our past.
The determination we owe to our future.
And the debt we owe to ourselves.