YEREVAN–In the presence of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Bureau, ARF members from Armenia and around the world, as well as government officials, including President Serzh Sarkisian and Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian, long-time ARF leader and Armenia’s Ambassador to Germany Vahan Hovannesian, who passed away on Decemeber 28 was laid to rest at the Yerevan Pantheon on Saturday,
The burial was preceded by a funeral service at the Komitas Chamber Orchestra hall in Yerevan, where joining Sarkisian and Nalbandian were Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan and the Speaker of the National Assembly Galust Sahakyan. A vast number of political officials, writers, intellectuals, members of the press joined Hovannesian’s family in bidding farewell to the political leader and activist.
A requiem service was held Friday evening at the St. Sarkis Church in the Nor Nork neighborhood of Yerevan.
Hovannesian’s fellow ARF members stood guard around his coffin as funeral attendees paid their final respects, while members of the ARF Nigol Aghbalian Student Organization surround the area holding the Armenian tricolor and the ARF flags.
On behalf of Armneia’s government, Foreign Ministry Nalbandian spoke about Hovannesian’s years of service as a parliament member and praised his diplomatic abilities as Armenia’s Ambassador to Germany. The ARF Bureau chairman Hrant Markarian said a heartfelt personal message, during which he praised Hovannesian’s unwavering commitment to the Armenian Cause and pledged that the party will continue the work, which defined Hovannesian’s career and activism.
“Although I am going to speak about you in the past tense, but my dear unger, you have not gone. You’re still here,” said ARF Bureau chairman Markarian, “You have given so much to so many people, that there is a little bit of Vahan in everyone, whether or not they knew you.”
ARF members from Europe, the US and Lebanon also attended the funeral, among them ARF Western US Central Committee chairman Dr. Viken Hovsepian.
Hovsepain told Yerkir Media that Hovannessian will be missed for a long time to come, adding that he spoke to the late leader 10 days before his passing and that while he was already ailing, “until the end Vahan stayed Vahan,” indicating that the late leader was the same man of conviction that guided his life.
At the Yerevan Pantheon, Hovannesian was interred next to his beloved father, ARF Bureau member and activist Edward Hovannesian.
In keeping with tradition, Hovannesian’s ARF comrades concluded the ceremony by singing “Verkerov Li.”