YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–On the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the Republic of Armenia–President Robert Kocharian Wednesday bestowed medals of honor to a slew of individuals in the fields of arts–literature–culture–education and academia–as well as military and security officials.
Among those receiving the highest honor of the Armenian government–the St. Mesrob Mashdots medal are singer Charles Aznavour–composer Robert Amirkhanian–writer Aghassi Ayvazyan–poet Razmik Davoyan–actors Khoren Abrahamian and Karp Khatchvankian and poetess Silva Kapoutikian.
Some 22 individuals received the coveted Mesrob Khorenatsi medal for their contributions in advancing culture–education–sports and academia. Among the recipients are Prof. Richard Hovannisian–Zori Balayan–actor Vladimir Abadjian–wrestling champion Arayik Gevorkian–singer Rouben Hakhverdian–editor of France’s Haratch newspaepr Arpik Misakian–writer Vahe Oshagan and historian Anahit Ter-Minasian.
Kocharian also bestowed the First Class Military Cross to five army officials and 12 Second Class Military Cross medals to 12 individuals.
During the ceremony–Kocharian stated that on the occasion of the 80th anniversary it would be fitting to clarify that there has been only one Armenian Republic–the first–which throughout the years has gone through various transformation–thus earning the explanation of "second" (Soviet) and "third" (current) Armenian republics.
"All these republics were based on one ideal–the creation of an independent Armenian state," added Kocharian.
The president also pointed out that these medals which cover a wide array of categories and individuals were being presented at the same time and in the same venue–which signified that all these different facets made up the Armenia nation.
He also emphasized the reality that among the honorees were numerous representatives of the Armenian Diaspora–who had devoted their lives to advancing the Armenian cause.
A reception was held following the ceremony–in honor of the recipients.
Present at the ceremony were Armenia’s Prime Minister Armen Darbinian–Defense Minister Vazgen Sargsyan–Interior and National Security Minister Serge Sarkissian–National Assembly Speaker Khosrov Harutunian–Constitutional Court chairman Gagik Harutunian and Yerevan Mayor Souren Abrahamian.