GLENVIEW, Ill.—The Chicago Armenian community marked the 32nd anniversary of the martyrdom of the Lisbon Five this week by holding a special requiem service for Sarkis Abrahamian, Setrak Ajamian, Vache Daghlian, Ara Kuhrjulian, and Simon Yahniyan. The service, which was held at Armenian All Saints Church in Glenview, was conducted by Archpriest Rev. Zareh Sahakian and was attended by more than 200 people.
The service honored the self-sacrifice of these five youth, aged 19 to 21 years old, who occupied and subsequently blew up the Turkish Embassy in Lisbon, Portugal, on July 27, 1983. In a typewritten note released to the press soon after the occupation of the embassy, they stated, ”We have decided to blow up this building and remain under the collapse. This is not suicide nor an expression of insanity, but rather our sacrifice to the altar of freedom.”
“Although more than 30 years have passed since that fateful day, we still draw inspiration from the Lisbon Five and their commitment to the cause of justice for the Armenian Nation,” said Chicago ARF “Christapor” Gomideh representative Khajak Arakelian.
“The example of their self-sacrifice reminds us all of our own obligations to our nation, and to the pursuit of justice for our people, especially in this Centenary year of the Armenian Genocide,” he continued.
The Lisbon event sent shockwaves around the world and served as a capstone for a period of Armenian militancy that had spanned a decade and whose goal was to raise awareness of the Armenian Genocide. The event caused many in the Armenian community to pause and evaluate their own roles in the Hai Tahd effort, with many redoubling their commitment to pursue justice for the Armenian Nation.