YEREVAN (Hayots Ashkharh)–The Armenian Revolutionary Federation Executive Council organized an anniversary celebration in Liberty Square to commemorate the Independence Day of the first Republic of Armenia–established May 28–1918. Thousands of people attended the event held on May 26 whose purpose was to remember the past with pride and look to the future with hope.
The evening’s key-note speaker was ARF Executive Council representative Vahan Hovanessian. "Today–standing here in front of you–I remember 1988–when we stood here together united as one force. Then as now–we are gathered here to pursue one ideal–which is justice in Armenia. Because it is only with this ideal in mind that our nation can prosper as a whole and these children standing here today will not encounter the same difficulties we had to deal with within the last ten years. And thus–they will live in a free and just nation in which they respect and love their government and political leaders rather than fear them.
Tens on thousands of people have left their homeland–rather than live with lack of electricity–suffer from cold–and deal with a government that does not care for them. We are a nation with a history that goes back 4,000 years. We have never backed down and receded in the face of adversity–but have always persevered and even revolted in the face of injustice. We were bitter and had right to be when we saw our nation split in two as half of our nation was going to war and the other prospering. It is wrong that the majority of the nation stays poor–but still has the courage and will to send their children to war–while a handful of families become rich–benefit from our misfortunes and plunder our people.
Our main goal is to establish justice and liberty for everyone–for the rich and the poor–the soldier and the intellectual. Only then could we again love and respect our nation. Those which worked against us internally–to take away from our people and never give anything back must answer to all of us. And they will. And if you want to see this nation which we have been talking about–come with us and follow us in our quest for justice. I know that there are thousands of you here today–discouraged and angered who do not want to listen to any more promises and false ideals–and again–you have every right to be skeptical and irate. But my words today are directed entirely at those of you who are angry and want drastic change. Don’t be discouraged–this is still our homeland–nobody else’s–and we will not allow anyone else to take it from us under any circumstances and at any price. Come and cast your vote. Come establish a better homeland for all us–with the help of the ARF.