Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on Tuesday addressed the nation from Sardarabad, where he led an official government delegation to mark the 101st anniversary of Armenia’s Independence.
Below is the English translated text of Pashinyan’s remarks provided by his press office.
Honorable President of the Republic of Armenia,
Honorable President of the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia,
Your Holiness Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II,
Dear Government and National Assembly Members,
Dear Ambassadors accredited to Armenia,
Officers and Generals,
My dear people,
Today, we are celebrating one of the most important events in our millennial history, the Day of the First Republic. On May 28, 1918, after the heroic battles of Gharakilisa, Bash-Aparan and Sardarabad, the independent Republic of Armenia was proclaimed. It happened at a time when it seemed that the history of the Armenian people had reached its final stage.
Just 500 years after the collapse of the Cilician Armenia, the Armenian people who had no statehood faced a grave catastrophe – the Genocide: 1.5 million Armenians perished, hundreds of thousands of refugees had fled the country: being an Armenian was a threat to life.
It seemed to him that all the preconditions were created that the Armenian people should surrender to his history, recognize his defeat, lose his identity, forget his history and abandon any claim to the future. But the opposite happened, the unexpected happened, and the Armenian people gained what seemed to have been lost irrevocably, gained statehood, acquired a state flag, acquired a state emblem, acquired a national anthem, which expressed our nation’s The tragic, but at the same time, the miraculous story of the historical revival.
Dear compatriots, today we stand on a holy land, because sacred blood was shed here to earn the right to survive, live and preserve our ethnic identity.
The first Republic rose from the sacred blood shed here, which reaffirmed our right to survival, and that any attempt to put an end to Armenia’s history is doomed to failure.
This is the most important reason why we come together here on May 28 every year, and we come to say that we are aware of our historical responsibility to the heroes of Sardarapat, Bash-Aparan, Gharakilisa, and we are coming to hear about the three battles heroes that their blood was not wasted, that their descendants today are proud of walking on the same land where they live, to which they have given new meaning and content to their unspeakable sacrifices and deeds.
We have come to tell the First Republic’s statesmen that the flag they raised is not a museum exhibit; it is the emblem of the sovereign Republic of Armenia. We have come to say that their work is still alive; their dreams are coming true, and will be fulfilled ahead.
Rest in peace, dear martyrs of Bash-Aparan, Gharakilisa!
Rest in peace, dear statesmen that founded the First Republic of Armenia under the leadership of Armenia’s first four prime ministers: Hovhannes Kajaznuni, Alexander Khatisyan, Hamo Ohanjanyan, and Simon Vratsyan!
Rest in peace, brave commanders of Sardarapat, Bash-Aparan and Gharakilisa – Aram Manukyan, Tovmas Nazarbekyan, Daniel Bek-Pirumyan, Drastamat Kanayan, Movses Silikyan, Christopher Araratyan, Poghos Bek-Pirumyan – because your feat is to be continued.
Your heroic deeds inspired the Heroes of the Artsakh Liberation War – Vazgen Sargsyan, Monte Melkonian, Christopher Ivanian, Leonid Azgaldyan, our April war heroic – Robert Abadjyan, Karam Sloyan, Armenak Urfanyan and Adam Sahakyan.
Your deeds are inspiring our brave servicemen and the officers of the Armenian Army who keep watch of Homeland’s security with a high sense of responsibility.
Your deeds are inspiring those farmers who firmly hold to their native land.
Your deeds are inspiring those businessmen who rebuild and reshape our homeland day after day by virtue of their creative work and pay taxes for homeland’s prosperity.
Your deeds are inspiring those teachers and scholars who raise and educate the younger generation. Your deeds are inspiring our athletes who compete for the glory of the Armenian State and the Armenian nation – Levon Aronyan, Arthur Alexanyan, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Simon Martirosyan.
Your deeds are inspiring those scientists and engineers whose mission is to make possible what seems to be impossible.
Your heroic deeds are inspiring the free and proud citizens of the Republic of Armenia, who have reinstated their power in the Republic of Armenia, who have become the masters of their native land.
Everyone in Armenia should be inspired by your deeds, be it a member of government, a member of the National Assembly, a community head or a judge. We all should realize that there is no room for corrupt officials in the homeland created by Aram Manoukian. Any such state official is living down the heroes of Sardarapat. Inspired by the heroes of Sardarapat, Bash-Aparan, Gharakilisa, we are now reinstating justice, the rule of law and national unity in our Homeland, based on mutual respect and lawfulness.
And therefore, long live freedom, long live the Republic of Armenia, long live Artsakh, long live the heroes of Sardarapat, Bash-Aparan, Gharakilisa, long live the fathers of the First Republic of Armenia, long live our children and we who are living and will live in a free and happy Armenia!