Editor’s Note: Following are remarks that were delivered by the author in Armenian at the AYF Olympics opening ceremonies on Sunday, September 5, 2021. They have been translated into English for publication in the Weekly.
Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielian, Reverend Fathers, venerable members of the ARF Central Committee of Eastern USA, honorable members of the AYF-YOARF Central Executive, dear representatives of sister organizations, members of the Providence community, ungers, ungerouhis and hamagirs,
Today we are assembled for the 87th Olympic Games of the Armenian Youth Federation-Youth Organization of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (AYF). This eminent organization has embraced inexhaustibly the covenant of Karekin Njdeh and passed on to future generations the sacred goals of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) for decades — unparalleled goals that led to the survival of the Armenian nation and created a relentless struggle to achieve revolution, patriotism, democracy and social and economic equality.
My fellow ungers, I would like to take this opportunity to reiterate that our Olympic games are just a means to an end. Using all methods, the AYF has always been and remains the defender of our inalienable rights and will fight with indestructible resistance until justice is established and Armenians survive freely in a united, free and independent Armenia.
As ARF youth, whether in the homeland or in the Diaspora, we have served Armenians by leading the awakening of the Armenian people, the Armenian national liberation movement and the just cause of the Armenians. When national duty calls, ARF youth are ready to serve, because we are believers of a national faith following the example of Catholicos Zareh I, Catholicos Khoren I and Archbishop Ghevont, because we are as revolutionary as Kristapor, as determined as Rosdom and as ideological as Zavarian. They tried to expel us and imprison us — they tried to kill us…the Sultan, Stalin, Ter-Petrosyan, and now the current traitor, but we never knelt down and never will. If our guilt is preaching the vision of a free, independent and united Armenia, we are guilty and want to live with that guilt. Ararat will judge us.
Let it be clear to internal and external opponents, our only final aspiration is Armenia, with Artsakh, our beloved integral Artsakh, which we lost most of due to the reigning defeatist mentality. My friends: Prime Ministers come and go. Governments come and go. We have enemies, and we will have more — Vahe Ihsan’s, who have betrayed the nation, but let it be known that there is one reality that will never be shaken, and that is the existence of the ARF, Armenia and Artsakh.
Dear Armenians and young leaders, in the camaraderie of sportsmanship, I would like to say that victories are not easy to build on. They require consistent and selfless work. With this primacy, each of us has responsibilities towards our nation. Let us reaffirm that we are committed to the noble legacy of our ancestors accompanied by Progress WITH Song.
Thus, let the eighty-seventh Olympic Games be a renewal of our devotion to continue our vows to fortify Armenia, to support the wounded Artsakh, to strengthen the Armenian national identity of the Diaspora and, together as united Armenians, equally and justly, to construct an integral homeland.
Reverence to the Armenians with the vision of a free, independent and united Armenia.
Respect to our holy martyrs.
Long live the youth organization of the ARF.
Long live the Armenian Revolutionary Federation.