BY DONIG DONABEDIAN
Sunday, May 15th, 2011, marked the kick-off of the 36th consecutive Navasartian Games opening ceremony with fanfare and pomp. The kick-off was a tribute to an organization whose relentless effort to pursue the adage “Making History, Not Living It,” is indicative of how much it has invested in its youth over the decades. It evokes the emotion that, an organization nearing a century of existence has maintained a philosophy so sacrosanct that no one can envision, even the slightest deviation, from its principles and its longstanding mission statement that, our youth are irrepressibly the bright future of our community.
If the past is a blueprint for the future, then Homenetmen broke the mold on May, 15th, when young and old alike conveyed their missive of the day, that Homenetmen is and will remain unrestrained in its quest to rejuvenate itself and rise to the occasion whenever it feels it should. At least in this endeavor, make no mistake, Homenetmen has been exceptional. Years ago regional executive committees had recognized that, in order for it to generate uninterrupted success, Homenetmen had to be dynamic. And ever since, each executive committee to grace the podium solidified the continuation of that dynamism. This merely establishes Homenetmen’s pervasive authority as a non-profit organization dedicated to nurturing its youth today to become the torch-bearers of tomorrow.
Therefore, on this day, packed within the confines of Birmingham High School’s main gym, and with many basketball games that had been scheduled to take place, athletes, scouts, spectators, executive committee members, guests and with countless Homenetmen members, the Navasartian Games began with the National Anthems of The United States of America and Armenia being played consecutively, followed by Homenetmen’s hymn, “Harach Nahadag.” Rev. Nareg was present to bestow his blessings to all and the recitation of prayer upon the event and those present. What followed next was the introduction of this year’s Navasartian Organizing Committee’s Chairman, Mher Tavidian, whose eloquent words included his committee’s gratitude of this year’s magnanimous sponsors and with special thanks to the attendees, members and volunteers without which the Navasartian Games would be hard to fathom.
Once Mher Tavidian concluded his message to those in the arena, Homenetmen’s Western United States Regional Executive Committee Chairman Garnik Abrahamian took the stage to deliver his inspiring take on the Navasartian Games and introduced to all, his regional executive committee colleagues and on this momentous day in particular, introduced this year’s Exemplary Homenetmen Member, Roubik Gourjian, whose turn at the podium was an occasion for him to impart his vision as a Homenetmenagan and what is expected from each of us as Homenetmenagans and individuals alike, and the generations that are to come.
No sooner than Roubik Gourjian had finished giving his inspirational speech about youth the crowds were treated to this year’s Athletes’ Oath given by Arin Pezeshkian of Homenetmen Ararat. His youthful words resonated the blessed virtues of what a Homenetmenagan is and should be.
With the conclusion of the Navasartian Games’ opening ceremony, and the all-important messages that extol the tournament, the seemingly famished crowd made its way out of the main gym and marched toward the parked lunch trucks to treat themselves for delightful food. The Navasartian Organizing Committee’s idea of gastronomy at this year’s opening ceremony was to acquire the services of the current nationwide craze of food trucks. They could not have made a better choice. The crowds were utterly pleased and enjoyed the change away from the usual.
In retrospect, the opening ceremony will be etched in the memory for some time to come, not least of which the competitive games that took place that day. The games are in full swing now, so please make it a point to take full advantage of this year’s games and enjoy them to the fullest. “I know I will.”
For all the details about this year’s Navasartian Games, please visit the informative site dedicated to the games at navasartiangames.com.