The commemoration of Armenia’s Armed Forces Day, celebrating the 27th anniversary of the establishment of the Armenian Army, began with a visit by Armenia’s leadership to Yerablur National Cemetery, to honor the fallen heroes and ended with a gathering dedicated to the occasion where Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan declared that the Armenian homeland and its victories will not be conceded to anyone.
Earlier on Monday, Pashinyan was joined by Armenia’s President Armen Sarkissian, President of Artsakh Bako Sahakian, His Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians, Speaker of the National Assembly Ararat Mirzoyan, Acting Defense Minister Davit Tonoyan and other high ranking state and military officials to visit the Yerablur National Cemetery and pantheon to the heroes of the Artsakh Liberation Movement.
The importance of the Armenian Armed Forces was emphasized through announcement by the relevant ministries and officials.
President Sarkissian hailed the impressive efforts by the people in Armenia, Artsakh and the Diaspora to form and establish the Armenian Armed Forces so soon after declaring independence and the fall of the Soviet Union.
In a statement addressed to the nation, he praised the Armenian soldier, whose dedication has protected and secured Armenia.
He also announced a new initiative by the Office of the President called the “Defender of the Homeland,” through which those soldiers who were wounded and suffered injuries that have handicapped them would receive special assistance.
The program seeks to provide service, but more important, employment to the wounded soldiers who have become handicapped. He pledged to hire more such soldiers in the Office of the President and announced as his first such hire Gor Darmanyan, a wounded soldier who is currently employed by the president.
During a special ceremony, Sarkisian also awarded medals to soldiers and veterans.
Later on Monday, a celebration took place marking the Armed Forces anniversary, attended by Armenia’s leadership.
“On this solemn day of our Army’s anniversary, I believe it’s worth noting once again that the security we have is not just an apple fallen from the sky, but a reality that has been achieved through the efforts of thousands of freedom fighters: those officers who gave up their career in the Soviet Army and came back to protect the homeland; the first soldiers of our newly independent state, who defended their homeland at the cost of their health and life, sacrificing sometimes their well-being and prosperity,” said Pashinyan during the celebration.
“We have gathered today to reaffirm our commitment to our ancestors, our heroes and martyrs, our legendary military commanders and soldiers. We will never give up our homeland; we will never concede this victory to anyone,” added Pashinyan, who praised and honored the Armenian soldiers, past and present, as well as their families for the sacrifices toward the homeland.