PROVIDENCE, R.I. (A.W.)—The Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) Providence Kristapor gomideh hosted an event on May 6, as a lead up to its Republic of Armenia Centennial concert, which will be held on May 28.
The presentation titled “Armenia at 100,” tied together the past and present, with presentations made by ARF Eastern U.S. Central Committee chair unger George Aghjayan and ungerouhi Pauline Getzoyan, chair of the Armenian Relief Society (ARS) “Ani” chapter. The presentation drew interesting connections between the establishment of the First Republic of Armenia and the ongoing struggle in Artsakh today.
Aghjayan presented his work with the ARF Archives, specifically on documents outlining how Armenia’s independence came to be. He discussed the foundation that the republic was founded upon, how Armenia was thrust into independence, and the work that the ARF did at the time. Rare photos of Aram Manoukian in military gear and signed photos by Armen Garo, Armenia’s Ambassador to the U.S. at the time, were shown to the community.
Geztoyan then spoke about the ARS Central Executive’s Artsakh Wounded and Disabled Soldier’s Project. She discussed how this project is impacting the lives of soldiers and helping them recover from injuries sustained while defending Artsakh’s and Armenia’s borders. She went on to explain that Jan. 28, Yerevan’s No. 1 Heratsi Hospital renovated its complex to better serve the wounded and disabled soldiers returning from the front lines. “Our soldiers continue to serve as an inspiration and deserve a quality patient care in their rehabilitation. As they adjust to their new and normal life, the Armenian Relief Society is trying to secure hospital beds, treatment tables, machines, and anything else they need to fully furnish the hospital,” she noted during her presentation.
The ARS works tirelessly to secure the items needed to fully furnish the third floor of the hospital and provide more hospital beds to serve more soldiers. The hospital also has a café, which will provide job opportunities to these veterans as they adjust back to their normal life.
After her remarks, a brief video was shown of the hospital and the treatment the soldiers are receiving. “We must be soldiers for our soldiers. Our fights are not confined to a battle field. With Azerbaijan hinting at war on a regular basis and continually violating the ceasefire, there is no better time than now to loudly proclaim that we stand with our soldiers,” Geztoyan concluded.
The community presentations were a prelude to the “100th Anniversary of The First Republic of Armenia Celebration Concert,” which will take place on May 28 from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at the Cathedrals of Saints Peter and Paul in Providence. The concert will feature Armenian Chorales of Rhode Island and Greater Worcester.
“The event is a celebration of our first independence and dedicated to our soldiers who risk their lives on a daily basis. Donations are still being collected and all net proceeds will go to the ARS’ Wounded and Disabled Soldiers project,” read a statement from the organizers.
The concert is free and open to the public. Donations are tax-deductible can be mailed to the ACAA RI, 7 Armenia Street, Providence R.I., 02909. Donations can also be given by visiting the concert’s Facebook page: 100th Anniversary of the First Republic of Armenia.