GLENDALE—Hundreds of community members attended a requiem Mass and rally at St. Mary’s Armenian Church to pay their respects to the Artsakh Junior Sergeant Armen Hovhannesyan, who died last week heroically defending his homeland. The event was organized by the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Western US Central Committee.
During the Mass, the Very Rev. Father Muron Aznikian praised the courage of Armenian heroes.
The rally, which was held in front of the Cross Stone at St. Mary’s Church courtyard, was initiated by ARF Western US Central Committee’s public relations director Saro Nazarian.
The message from the ARF youth was presented by David Arakelyan. Lamenting that he could not talk about peace, Arakelyan expressed his anger at Azerbaijan’s barbaric aggression.
Arakelyan also expressed his frustration at the Minsk Group co-chairmen who call for restraint from both sides, but ignore the reality that Azerbaijan is the only entity that does not exercise restraint.
The current reality, said Arakelyan, “is forcing our nation, especially our youth, to work with renewed dedication in order to defend our homeland.”
“For all of us, Armen Hovhannesyan must become an example of selflessness, courage and love for the homeland,” said Arakelyan calling on the entire Armenian nation to sacrifice in the name of justice and in the name of a free, united and independent Armenia.
Armenian Veterans’ Association chairmen Vigen Ghazaryan read an announcement on behalf of the organization, while Salpi Mailian performed a rendition of the ARF Anthem, “Meshak Panvor.”
Speaking on behalf of the Central Committee, Avedik Izmirlian said that sacrificing oneself for the freedom of the nation is one of the tenets of the ARF, adding that Armen Hovhannesyan was the bearer of that distinction for his heroism in combat.
Izmirlian also promoted the contributions of the Western US to Artsakh’s liberation struggle and the commitment of the community to advance justice and support the people of Artsakh.
The ARF leader also emphasized the importance of unity within the community on the road to strengthening Artsakh’s statehood and the international recognition for the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic.