During the past 25 years, a new generation has grown up knowing nothing but the existence of an independent Republic of Armenia.
For this generation, the Diasporan dreams of an independent republic—the rallying cry for generations of post-Genocide, post-1918 Republic Armenians dispersed around the world—are figments of their imagination or anecdotal vignettes passed down from a previous generations. For the generation growing up in post-independence Armenia, the thought of an iron curtain separating them from the rest of the world and the yoke of Soviet oppression are similarly unfathomable and, at best, stories from a dark past.
As the Armenian Nation celebrates the milestone of the 25th anniversary of Armenia’s Independence, we must fully be cognizant that it is the independence generation, whose dreams and ideals will guide and shape the future of the Republic of Armenia and thus any reforms and planning must be rooted in the advancement of that generation so they too can exercise their right to determine their own and their country’s fate just as was done 25 years ago by those who advanced the notion of independence.
A quarter of a century of independence is certainly cause for celebration and pride. It is also an opportunity to reflect on the processes and events of the past 25 years and correct our course in order to ensure that the Republic of Armenia perseveres and continues to become our national focal point and the nexus for all things Armenian.
The current realities of our young republic require all of us, whether in Armenia or the Diaspora, to pledge our unwavering support for the strengthening and the advancement of Armenia’s statehood so that Armenia can exist from a position of strength and set its future based on an agenda that first and foremost stems from our national ideals and benefits each and every Armenian.
It is no secret that in the past 25 years our young republic has not been the bastion of freedom and democracy that we have all dreamed about. Today, the socio-economic and political conditions of Armenia have resulted in an alarming number of Armenians leaving the homeland and those who have opted to stay are frustrated with the uneven distribution of the national wealth and the often obstruction of their civil liberties. This requires good governance and an opportunity to include all Armenians in the nation building process.
As a nation we possess such resources that if thoughtfully and thoroughly calibrated can make Armenia one of the strongest nations in the world. Thus, it is time to replace the rhetoric with action and truly—and consciously—utilize the pillars that make up the Armenian nation—Armenia, Artsakh and the Diaspora.
The events of this year have proven, beyond a doubt, that our collective efforts must be put forth to defend and advance Armenia’s statehood, which cannot and should never be equated with those forces in positions of authority—the government. Governments will come and go, but the Armenian state will always be there. Our challenge has always been, and moving forward it must be, to advance the needs of the state above all else.
The four-day war in April, when Azerbaijan aggressively attacked Artsakh, demonstrated that our collective resistance and our united front is one of the most important assets that many nations do not have. At the same time, the events of this past summer brought to fore the immense frustration of our citizens toward the current socio-economic and political realities, which if not addressed immediately and properly can wreak havoc on our entire nation.
At the same time, the four-day visit by the Pope to Armenia elevated our nation’s glorious history, heritage and culture and how they have transcended generations to become the core of our national values, ideals and aspirations, as well as our will to persevere under the most adverse of conditions.
This should be the guiding force for us as a nation. As we mark this important milestone, let us together use it as a turning point to advance our national ideals, which include a prosperous existence for the citizens of Armenia, the advancement of security and the people’s right to self-determination in Artsakh, and, of course, one day realizing the dream of a FREE, UNITED, INDEPENDENT HOMELAND.
Long Live the Republic of Armenia
Long Live the Armenian Nation