09, 2011

Congratulatory Remarks of President Serzh Sargsyan on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of Armenia’s Independence at the reception held for the clergymen, intellectuals and representatives of sports

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Your Holiness,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I extend my congratulations on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of independence of the RA.

I am particularly pleased to greet on this festive occasion our intellectuals, art workers, scientists, devotees of our Church, representatives of the education and sport systems.

Intellectuals have been primary inventors, carriers and the proponents of the idea of independence. The task of reestablishing and reorganizing national state was driven forward by the people who had forgotten their personal lives, were subjected to persecution and sometimes even paid with their own lives and nevertheless accomplished their mission. In the absence of their own state, the intellectuals were often assuming the functions of state structures and fulfilled them with more or less success.

When in the distant India, the Armenian intellectuals had been drafting a constitution, they were outlining their idea of the future independent Armenia. When Michael Nalbandian and Stepanos Nazarian in Moscow were publishing the “Northern Lights”, they conscientiously, with far-seeing goals in mind were shaping new literary Eastern Armenian language; today it is our state and official language. When Raffi was writing this novels, he was striving to urge to act the freedom fighters, and he partly succeeded.

Artsakh’s fight for freedom from day one was joined by the thousands of volunteers, whose ideological, morale and psychological grounding was carried our by our intellectuals. Flames of freedom and patriotism were ignited in the hearts of our new generation first of all by our artists and scientists. It’s a fact, and I am confident that you all hold this conviction.

This is well understood even by the executioners of our nation who set off the most horrific period of the Mets Eghern on April 24 in 1915 with the arrests of the intellectuals.

Today, we need these historic parallels not only to appreciate the role played by the intellectuals but also to define what’s important at this particular historic stage, what is pressing in the social and political areas. A nation which is not able to pass on to the next generation its system of values, one generation later will simply degenerate, or speaking plainly will at best become another nation but more often a crowd - faceless, deprived of any national futures.

The Armenian Apostolic Church has been the standard bearer of our national identity for centuries. The Church is our oldest spiritual but also scientific and cultural institution. Moreover, the Armenian Church was executing also court and local authority functions, and for centuries has been acting globally through its diocese structures. An institution, which was substituting almost any other structure, which in difficult times kept the independence torch burning – sometimes humbly, wise and far-seeing, sometimes harsh and intolerant to the alien’s yoke but always an Armenian structure.

It is only natural that from the very first minutes of the Armenian independence the nation should hear the words of blessing from the Catholicos of All Armenians Vazgen the First. Our modern state commenced with that blessing and for twenty years the Armenian state and Armenian Church hand in hand have been moving forward on the road of national and all-human ideals.

Let’s glorify the Armenian intellectuals, who for centuries, in different conditions have been able to keep the flame of liberty alive in our hearts,

Armenian artists and scientists, who made theirs and their nation’s name esteemed in the world,

All those, whose image defines a thinking, working and creative Armenian,

All those, who teach and educate, who raise the Armenian tricolor in different corners of the world and make our anthem be heard, who instill our youngsters with patriotism.

Congratulations to us all!
Long live the Republic of Armenia!

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