GLENDALE—Members of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Western US gathered at the Krikor and Mariam Karamanougian Youth Center to witness 22 new members bolstering its ranks.
Kicking off the evening’s program was ARF Western US Central Committee’s education committee chairman Harout Mgrdichian, who introduced the novices and explained that they had successfully completed a rigorous education program. He then introduced long-time Armenian language teacher and an active member of the ARF Ani Berberian who would be administering the membership oath.
In her remarks, Berberian said she was delighted that 22 people were prepared to “devote their cherished existence and devote their capabilities to serve the Armenian Nation and the Armenian people by joining our fight.”
“With this oath, you will join the large family of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation,” said Berbarian, adding that the new members had a new arena for work and service, which is often challenging and requires commitment and sacrifice.
Following the indoctrination ceremony, ARF Western US Central Committee member Razmig Haroun delivered the body’s remarks to the new members and the hundreds of ARF members who had gathered for the ceremony.
“This day will become a memorable turning point in your lives since you have taken an important step by pledging to devote your life to our people and homeland through the Armenian Revolutionary Federation,” said Haroun.
He added that by joining the ranks “you are guaranteeing its [the ARF’s] continued success.”
Delivering the ceremony’s keynote remarks was ARF Bureau member Dr. Viken Yacoubian, who outlined that the ARF Program and By-Laws and their defined modes of decentralized operation and a centralized ideology must be “understood and accept as sacred.”
He also stressed that adhering to the party’s discipline was paramount and dwarfed any personal beliefs or ideals. He warned that today’s rapidly proliferating avenues of communication have ushered in an era whereby temptations to instantaneously advance one’s own personal preferences have clouded “our ideological compass.”
“[You should] be resilient to not individualize the ARF,” said Dr. Yacoubian, who added that “the ARF member, whoever he/she may be, is a soldier of the ARF Program and the decisions made by its congresses.”
“Do not forget that the ARF is an organization that has embodied Socialist principles, and it is rooted in the conviction of justice of collective human rights,” added Dr. Yacoubian.
Thus, he said, “the ARF can never remain silent in the face of human right violations and can never view its struggle as separate from that reality. There is only one brand of justice that is embodied by the irreplaceable and non-negotiable advancement of all human right. Thus, we must all see our aspiration of a Free, United and Independent Armenia through that prism.”
Following the ceremony, hundreds of community members came together at the Glendale Civic Auditorium to celebrate 126th anniversary of the ARF during a dinner-celebration, which featured performances by Andre, Sevak Amroyan and Karnig Sarkisian, with Sanan Shirinian serving as Mistress of Ceremonies.