A solemn ceremony marking the 101st anniversary of the First Armenian Republic took place at Sardarapat Memorial in Armenia on Tuesday.
In attendance were President Armen Sarkisian, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II, National Assembly Speaker Ararat Mirzoyan and other public and political figures.
In a speech congratulating Armenians on the national holiday, the PM stressed the Armenian people are celebrating one of the most important events of their millennia-old history.
“On May 28, 1918 after the heroic battles of Gharakilisa, Bash Aparan and Sardarapat, the First Republic of Armenia was declared. This came in a period when the history of the Armenian people seemed to have neared its final stage,” he said.
The PM stressed exactly 500 years after the fall of the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia the Armenian people lacking independent statement were subjected to a genocide, when 1.5 million Armenians were killed, while hundreds of thousands became refugees.
“And it seemed that all the prerequisites are created to force the Armenia people to yield to the history, to admit their defeat, to lose their identity, to forget their history and to abandon any future claims. But the opposite happened, the unexpected: the Armenian people gained what seemed to be lost irreversibly. They gained statehood, a state flag, a coat of arms and a national anthem that reflected the tragic, but at the same time, the glorious story of the historical revival of our nation standing on the verge of death,” he said.