Today, at the Alexander Spendiaryan State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre President Serzh Sargsyan and Mrs. Rita Sargsyan attended the concert titled “Wartime Songs” held within the frames of Yerevan Perspectives International Music festival which was devoted to the valorous victories in the Great Patriotic War and the Artsakh Liberation War.
The “Wartime Songs” program was presented by world-famous operatic baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky and conductor Constantine Orbelian, the Academic Song and Dance Ensemble of the Internal Forces of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs and the State Youth Orchestra of Armenia.
President Serzh Sargsyan delivered a speech at the festive concert attended by war veterans, freedom fighters and guests.
RA President Serzh Sargsyan’s address at the concert devoted to May victories
I once again congratulate you on the occasion of May 9 – Victory and Peace Day. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the triumphant end to the Great Patriotic War. It cannot be denied that such a jubilee makes our much loved holiday appear more brightly.
The Second World War was one of the most terrific events ever happened in human history which took around 50 million lives, more than 20 million of which was brought to the altar of victory by Soviet peoples. Perhaps, these numbers are easy to say, but hard, almost impossible to imagine and comprehend. However, it occurred and it is a fact which we are obliged to remember forever.
For me the Great Victory day is first of all a day to honor war veterans. We should demonstrate more care towards the memories of all those who were killed in battle, who returned home as victors and continued to work in peace, but who are unfortunately no longer with us today. We should pay special attention to our veterans, our pride, whose presence contains an important precept for all our young people.
With their heroic deeds, all war veterans saved countries, peoples and generations. They won a truly severe struggle and deserve the highest level of gratitude. They managed to defend, thereby saving Armenia and its people as well.
Of course, during the days of May celebrations we first of all remember Armenian soldiers and officers, Armenian military commanders and heroes. Indeed, our compatriots stood that difficult test creditably. Armenians glorified their names and their people’s name on all frontlines, on land, at sea and in the air, in guerilla and underground activities.
Two decades after the Mets Eghern, Armenians living in the Soviet Union sent about half a million soldiers to fight against the enemy. They were joined by our diaspora Armenians 100 thousand of whom filled up the ranks of Allied troops during the Second World War.
Many brave Armenians of Armenia and Artsakh demonstrated brilliant acts of heroism and self-sacrifice. And it is no accident that in terms of a number of crucial indicators of participation in the Great Patriotic War, e.g. awards for heroism, highest military ranks, Heroes of the Soviet Union per 10 thousand population, we displayed high levels of effectiveness – very high. Unfortunately, for obvious reasons, the number of victims was also high.
Indeed, Armenians’ participation was so complete that we even can take pride in it. I am very sorry that today, after 70 years, some people, driven from their narrow interests, openly try to make speculations about our people’s struggle against fascism and their devotion. Firstly, everybody knows about Armenians’ devotion to true ideas, which has been proved many times throughout history. Secondly, I am not going to pay attention to such speculations and to bring forward strong counterarguments; this is a disrespectful behavior towards the magnitude of our joint historic victory. The patriotic war was won by all the Soviet peoples, and it was a glorious victory.
Yes, we, Armenians, are aware of what is meant by historical memory. Memory does not imply that we must be full of revenge and vengeance. Memory means a lesson. Anti-humanistic ideologies, misanthropic and xenophobic propaganda and bellicose rhetoric finally result in war and mass destruction of innocent people. This is the lesson that we must not forget.
All the people in the world, especially those in power, must be the preservers of historical memory. There are certain conditions necessary to preserve human nature. Those conditions are well-known and must be adhered.
Talking about May 9 and the defense of the homeland also means for us, Armenians, to speak up about the liberation of Shushi.
The liberation of Shushi – the historical and cultural center of Artsakh – was not only a strategic necessity, but also the only precondition to survival. It was exactly in Shushi that the new generation of Armenians proved itself to be the true and genuine successor of its brave ancestors. It was exactly here that Armenians proved to themselves and to the opponent once more that we are better. We are not half-dead, frightened and poor debris that survived genocide. Once again we are a viable and strong nation that is very thirsty for and capable of living and getting liberated. We are a nation which has taken lessons from the past, but is filled with fresh zeal and has serious civilizational reserves to build its own army and state. The testimony to this is the Republic of Armenia – the homeland of all Armenians. The testimony to this is free Artsakh – the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic – with its domestic stability, economic and cultural development and democratic institutions. The testimony to this was the quite high level of the parliamentary elections held in the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic last week; a thing which could hardly be comprehended by people with obscure ambitions whose only argument is brutal force. The testimony to this was the brilliant victory of the pavilion titled “Armenity” featured by 18 Armenian diaspora artists on the Island of St Lazzaro; three days ago it won the Golden Lion Award at the 56th International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale.
For us May 9 is a day of physiological, military and moral victory. It is Victory and Peace Day. Today the Armenian army and our fighters safeguarding the borders are the true guarantors of our victories and the watchful guardians of our peace. Today our soldiers not only maintain peace and tranquility in our homeland, but also are involved in international peace-keeping missions, displaying themselves brilliantly and everyday accumulating their reputation as being both professional and brave. Like their fathers, they, too, are the genuine successors of their grandfathers, and it is true.
I once again congratulate our people on the occasion of this wonderful holiday and jubilee. Peaceful and creative work lies at the core of all blessings. I wish peace to us and the whole world.
I congratulate you on your holiday, dear veterans!
I congratulate you on your holiday, dear freedom fighters!
Congratulations to us on this holiday!