BEIRUT (Aztag)–Hundreds were gathered at a vigil–organized by the Armenian Youth Federation of Lebanon–in Bourj Hamoud–Lebanon on Monday in honor of the 16th anniversary of the Lisbon 5.
The opening remarks were made by Khajak Koulajian who stated that "the ARF youth can not forget the martyrs of Lisbon–and must vow to continue to walk on the rocky path they have trailed."
The main speaker of the evening Vera Yacoubian gave a brief summary of events that took place after the genocide including the stance of the youth on the issue of Genocide recognition by various countries of the world.
She stated that the heroic event in Lisbon was the climax of the movement led by Armenian youth in the Diaspora against the Republic of Turkey who for fifty years at that time had denied the genocide.
"The image of the Armenian had changed in eyes of others. The Armenian could not stand still and not change his destiny and that is why he raised his gun and demanded justice. And later on that led to the unity when in 1988 both Armenia’s from the Diaspora and those living on their homeland came together to fight for an independent Karabakh."
Yacoubian pointed out that neither Western Armenia or Karabakh has been return to their rightful owner which is Armenia. She continues by explaining that Western Armenia is still under the rule of Turkey and that Karabakh–even though has been liberated–is still not free of pressure put on to it by the neighboring Azerbaijan.
She stated that it is does not serve the members of the Lisbon 5 to just remember them every year–but all Armenia’s should unite and strive to accomplish the goals that the five martyrs had lived to accomplish–which can only be achieved with the combined strength of all Armenia’s from all parts of the world.
"Dear Simon–Sarkis–Vatche–Setrak–Ara we promise to take your bones and rest them in Armenia once it becomes totally free and united–and there they will rest in peace," said Yacoubian in her last statement.
The evening ended when those attending the event sang Armenian patriotic songs.