Anticipation, is a good thing, especially, if that which we wait for impatiently brings a broad smile to our faces.
Well, that’s exactly what the 34th Navasartian Games Opening Ceremony brought to many faces when, on Sunday, May 9th, this year’s inaugural took place at the Alex Pilibos Armenian School.
Let’s face it; The Navasartian Games is the “one” event, most, if not all Armenians in our community, covet the most. Why? You may ask! The answer to that question is self-explanatory, really. The youth! They’re the ones on the horizon, quietly, patiently, waiting for us, the older Homenetmen generation, to pass on the torch to them, where we know it will be in safe hands. Today, we should exult with the prospect of a bright and promising future. After all, Homenetmen is there to ensure that its legacy of unrelenting encouragement and continuum resist halting its drive, and confidently steer our shining prospects in the right direction.
With this notion that the future has been tucked away safely, Homenetmen proceeded with the 34th Navasartian Games Opening Ceremony, and for the first time ever, with a walkathon that drew a massive crowd of willing participants to take the walk, after being shuttled off to Griffith Park in the wee hours of last Saturday.
Once at the park, the walkathon began in earnest back to the site of the opening’s venue, Alex Pilibos Armenian School. There, the torch lighting ceremony took place, with Homenetmen Western U.S. Regional Executive Committee Members, dignitaries and supporters all lined up to witness the unveiling of this year’s Navasartian Games.
Reverend Vicken Vassilian pronounced his blessings, after which, Yeghpayr Steve Artinian gave his, “forward we march,” words of encouragement, followed by the Navasartian Committee representative to the Navasartian opening and Closing Ceremonies, Kouyr Karineh Avaness, thanking all those who lent a hand for the preparations and rallying with encouragement all those whose efforts had made the day possible.
Yeghpayr Vartkes Shekherdemian was at hand as well, and his words painted a beautiful mural of the Navasartian Games, a product of the countless hours of work that go into the preparations.
Once the introductory announcements were concluded, members of Homenetmen and its tirelessly passionate supporters took part in a full-fledged festival, albeit a small one compared to the 4th of July festivities, but big enough to accommodate an estimated crowd of 300 people throughout the day.
The festival included games for the children, food, and also, for the first time, “F” and “G” Division basketball games, to get the athletes’ and supporters’ competitive juices flowing. The spectators’ ardent cheers for their respective teams were fueled by the desire to win. It was a display that exemplified the true spirit of the Navasartian Games and the nature of things as they have happened in Homenetmen throughout the years.
A day that had begun very early and went on to the evening, and with everything that had happened in between, had engraved a broad smile on every face, from the first person to arrive to the last person to depart. Such is the effusive power of the Navasartian Games.