11, 2017

President Serzh Sargsyan’s Speech at Official Opening Ceremony of Monte Melkonian Military-Sports Training College

Dear Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Distinguished Generals, Officers, Soldiers, Sergeants, Students,

I congratulate all of us on the official opening of Monte Melkonian Military-Sports Training College. It is symbolic that we have dedicated this opening ceremony to Artsakh Republic Hero Monte Melkonian. As you may know, November 25 marks his 60th birthday.

Coming to Monte’s biography, suffice it to say that having received higher education in Japan and California, being a graduate of the University of Oxford, who used to speak six-seven languages, he abandoned the idea of a quiet and secure future and devoted the rest of his life to promoting the interests and security of the Armenian people. The Artsakh liberation war brought him to Artsakh.

The rest is history: Shahumian’s battle, the story of converting Martouni’s reckless defense into the legend of Monteberd. His love for the homeland was indefinable and non-personified: it has become an indelible chapter in the annals of modern history of the Armenian people.

Today, there is an impression that Monte has become a mythical hero born of our people’s freedom-driven imagination. Each of us has made an image of Monte that gives us strength at a difficult time. He was a true patriot standing fast on the native land. That real Monte, my fighting friend, the honest and upright Monte can be talked about endlessly.

For me, Monte was not just a patriot and a freedom-fighter: he was the supreme standard of honesty. At first glance, he might seem to have a sophisticated and controversial character, but he was a simple, stubborn, frugal man who did not think he was superior to others, who had not lost his crystalline innocence and purity in the battlefield’s violence and cruelty.

Never before, even in the most difficult situations, anyone had ever heard him tell a curse. The most brutal word he used was “donkey.” He always emphasized that the enemy on the other side of the trench should always be treated with respect. That was the key to victory.

As I mentioned once, I have never seen someone else who was that much devoted to his own ideology like him. One can hardly imagine our heroic fight for freedom without Monte.

Dear Friends,

I recall that the day we lost Monte, trying to conceal her terrible grief, his wife Seda found strength to say that Monte’s soul would not rest in peace until his fight is brought to victorious conclusion. It is a fact that his fight has not yet been crowned with final success, and in this respect, we still owe it to Monte and our other friends.

This school is a brilliant testimony to the continuity of Monte’s cause. Monte was one of the earnest supporters of statehood and a regular army. He was among the first to understand the importance of having highly disciplined, well-organized and professional fighting units. This is just what first and foremost accounted for the exceptional success of the troops under his command in Artsakh’s Martuni region.

Monte was an absolute winner and leader, unique in his kind.

The graduates of this college should follow on Monte’s footsteps and be the first anytime and anywhere. I will do my best to have suitable conditions provided to the students of this college.
Now, it is up to you, dear students, to consistently and diligently master the serviceman’s noble profession, get the knowledge we may need in the most crucial moments for our country and people.

Dear Students of Monte Melkonian Military-Sports Training College,

This beautiful, I would even say luxurious building was provided to you and no other state institution. As the token of State care, it outlines the priorities that our people and society have.

Reiterating my congratulations on this remarkable event, I wish that this institution could become your home. I am confident that it will be a forge of champions.

I wish you may leave it as citizens, soldiers and officers up to standard set by Monte Melkonian.

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