YEREVAN, STEPANAKERT—The 102nd anniversary of the Armenian Genocide was marked in Armenia and Artsakh, with the leaders of both republics shepherding their citizen in commemoration events and wreath laying at the Genocide memorials.
President Serzh Sarkisian and the First Lady Rita Sarkisian visited the Dzidzernagapert Memorial Monument in Yerevan Monday along with Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan and the entire Armenian government as well as His Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians. The president laid a wreath at the memorial and placed flowers at the eternal fire, which immortalizes the memory of the innocent victims of the Armenian Genocide.
Following the ceremony, Sarkisian led his delegation on a tour of the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute, where they viewed the permanent displays and a temporary exhibit dedicated to the 25th anniversary of Armenia’s Independence entitled “From the Yeghern to the Re-Establishment of Independence.” The group was also saw plans to mark the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Dzidzernagapert Memorial Complex.
Speaking to reporters after the ceremony, Armenia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Shavarsh Kocharyan said that those attempting to eliminate the Armenian Nation had failed “as we are living a new revival today.”
“Recognition of the Armenian Genocide by any country is important, but the utmost objective is to get recognition by Turkey,” said Kocharyan who added that it is important for Armenia to draw lessons from the Genocide to prevent any future such crimes not only against Armenians, but also throughout the world.
“Recognition by every country reminds all humanity that the threat of genocide is still there. If left un-condemned, a crime against humanity leads to new crimes,” Kocharyan added.
On Saturday evening, thousands of people marched from Liberty Square in Yerevan to the Dzidzernagapert Memorial in a torchlight procession commemorating the 102nd anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. Organized by the ARF Youth of Armenia, the procession has become a tradition in Yerevan for more than two decades.
In Artsakh, the republic’s president Bako Sahakian accompanied by other government officials visited the Stepanakert Memorial Complex and laid flowers at the Armenian Genocide monument.
“The Armenian nation, due to its unshakable faith, resilience, endless love and devotion toward the homeland was able to resist this terrible calamity,” said President Sahakian in a statement issued Monday on the occasion of the Armenian Genocide anniversary.
“The Armenian tricolor flew again in a small part of our historic homeland and today we have free, independent and sovereign Mother Armenia and the Artsakh Republic. Our compatriots having narrowly escaped from slaughter found refuge in different corners of the world and formed a powerful diaspora which lives with the homeland’s concerns and has become an important pillar of our statehood,” added Sahakian.
“The Armenian Genocide will never be erased from our nation’s memory. We will firmly continue to fight for the international recognition of the Armenian Genocide and condemnation of its denial,” said Sahakian. “This crime with no expiration date must not be forgotten by the civilized world either. Oblivion and indifference is a crime in itself and can lead to new atrocities in the future. This simple truth has been proved many times in the 20th and 21st centuries and we are grateful to all those people and states that were with our nation during those days of ordeal, that go on supporting us today for the restoration of justice in our struggle.”
“Commemorating the martyrs we must realize that the most reliable guarantee of our Motherland’s defense capacity and security is a free, sovereign and democratic statehood, efficient army, the firm Armenia-Artsakh-Diaspora trinity. And we will do our best for strengthening, developing and empowering them,” concluded Sahakian.