YEREVAN—Hundreds gathered at Republic Square on Tuesday evening, July 17, for the long-awaited unveiling of a statue of Aram Manoukian, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation leader who became the first Minister of Internal Affairs of the First Republic of Armenia in 1918. Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, President Armen Sarkissian and His Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians joined ARF leaders and members for the momentous ceremony.
In remarks delivered at the foot of the statue, Prime Minister Pashinyan hailed Manoukian as the “greatest apostle of modern history,” saying that his predecessor from the First Republic of Armenia had been born to a sacred mission which had been fulfilled by Armenia’s independence after 600 years of living under foreign rule. He was able “to find victories within storms of defeats, to find hope in a flood of despair, to find strength when it seems your arms are weakened and knees bent… He never lived for himself, his family and relatives; instead he lived for his people, fought for his people and triumphed for them.”
Pashinyan added, “We have our mission. The mission of state and public officials and citizens of Armenia is to be worthy to Aram Manoukian’s virtue and to live in a way to be entitled to look right into his eyes when walking next to his statue and say that we are the masters of his mission, his work is not incomplete. His victory is alive.”
ARF Bureau member and head of its political office Giro Manoyan delivered remarks on behalf of the organization, citing Manoukian’s accomplishments as an ARF member, a soldier for the Armenian Cause and a leader who led the realization of the dream of establishing an independent Armenian Republic.