WATERTOWN, Mass. – The Armenian National Committee of America Eastern Region (ANCA-ER) hosted a virtual celebration on Facebook for the 28th anniversary of the Liberation of Shushi on Saturday, May 9 at 6 pm EDT.
ANCA Eastern Region Executive Director Aram Balian joined special guests George Aghjayan, Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) Eastern Region Central Committee Chair, as well as Khajag Mgrdichian, ARF Eastern Region Central Committee member and former Hairenik editor, to celebrate the liberation of Shushi, the first significant Armenian military victory since Sardarabad.
Shushi had been in the clutches of Azerbaijan, and in order to establish a corridor to Armenia allowing for the continuing defense of Artsakh, it was necessary to free the city from its oppressors. The 1992 operation to liberate Shushi was called the “Wedding in the Mountains.” Fifty-two heroes died; however, their lives were not lost in vain, as the liberation of Shushi marked the turning point in the Artsakh War and made possible the eventual independence of Artsakh.
On Saturday, viewers were taken on a journey throughout Shushi, which has for millennia been a center of culture, learning and civilization for Armenians. The narrated videos depicted Shushi as the place where Armenians have lived and prospered as they have throughout all of Artsakh, as well as through the 20th century when Turks and Azeris began to persecute Armenians living in Artsakh—destroying property and killing Armenian civilians. ANCA Eastern Region’s video produced and narrated by Garine Koushagjian depicts the heroic young soldiers who were instrumental in the Liberation of Shushi.
“Today’s programming celebrating the liberation of Shushi was fantastic. Every time we land in Armenia, we find ourselves heading to Shushi the next day. It’s our second home where we feel the happiest and where we feel alive. But every time we’re there, I can’t stop thinking about the sacrifices that many made for my family and I to enjoy and feel at home in Shushi. Happy Shushi Liberation Day! We can’t wait to go back,” said ANC of MI chair Dzovinar Hatsakordzian.
In addition to the video produced by the ANCA-ER, the online event also featured a video from Yerkir Media narrated by Nairi Balian highlighting the Liberation of Shushi and the developments since the war and independence of Artsakh.
The event also celebrated the heroes who fought hard for freedom and honored the men who still today continue to defend Artsakh’s borders, as Azerbaijan continues its aggression towards Artsakh and Armenia.
“I’m humbled by and grateful to the young men, many of whom are not much older than me, who fought to liberate Shushi and continue the battle today for those who came before them,” said Alex Manoukian, Armenian Youth Federation (AYF) Representative on ANCA-ER Board.
Saturday’s event also provided the opportunity to issue a call to action to help save aid to Artsakh as the Fiscal Year 2021 funding for vital de-mining efforts in Artsakh with the HALO Trust is in danger of being cut.
To help the ANCA-ER in its efforts against the Azeri and Turkish forces that want to see Artsakh destroyed, visit anca.org/aid.