Independence Day Marked in Armenia

President Sarkisian honors heroes of Battles of Independence

YEREVAN (Combined Sources)—The 93rd anniversary of Armenian Independence was marked throughout Armenia Saturday during a slew of events and celebrations, among them an official visit by the President to Sardarabad.

Accompanied by His Holiness Karekin II, the Catholicos of All Armenians, Nagorno-Karabakh Republic President Bako Sahakian and other government officials, President Serzh Sarkisian visited the Sardarabad monument and laid a wreath in memory of the heroes of the Independence Battles.

“With May 28, the Armenian people adopted a new system of values – that of independence and democracy. If the present Armenia is the successor of the First Republic (and it is), then it is first of all the inheritor of that system of values,” said Sarkisian in a congratulatory message to the Armenian people.

“Before May 28, 1918 we were subjects; on that day the Armenians became citizens. Becoming a free citizen of a free country was a long and difficult road. Even today we are still overcoming hurdles down the way; however, it was a new beginning and a right political course,” added Sarkisian.

“All segments and strata of our nation withstood that fateful test with honor. It happened at a moment in time when many in the world publicly or in their minds gave up on Armenia and the Armenian nation. Moreover, there had been many despondent among our people as well. Nevertheless, national unity had its brilliant manifestations in the heroic battles of May, 1918. In those days, the collective will of the Armenian national had worked miracles, and we today state with a well-founded pride and gratitude that lives and blood of the heroes of the May battles had saved Armenia from the clutches of death,” explained the president.

“The country was in an extreme and extraordinary situation, however both the people and the authorities were acutely aware of the most important thing: independence and democracy do not disagree with each other. Moreover, they strongly supported each other,” added Sarkisian.

“A powerful army is good, but an army of powerful, free and protected citizens is much better still. A free citizen is the best shield against the external enemy as well as against internal transgressions. If a person does not enjoy full freedom and rights in his own land, what would he defend and from whom? I believe, everyone should ask him or herself this question,” asserted the president.

“May 28 is the occasion which allows us not only to reassess events that took place 93 years ago, but also events that are taking place today. Momentous events of the past provide instructive experience – positive as well as negative,” said Sarkisian.

A concert at Republic Square with a light show at the Opera House capped off a day of celebrations in Yerevan.

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