The Central Executive Board (CEB) of the Armenian Relief Society (ARS) was recently in Armenia with the dual task of closely following the progress of ARS programs in the homeland and to mark the 107th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.
From April 20-22, the ARS CEB convened in a plenary meeting at the regional office of ARS Armenia. Members reviewed and discussed emergency assistance programs in the homeland.
On April 22, ARS members participated in the opening ceremony of the diagnostic blood laboratory at the Homeland Defense Rehabilitation Center. The laboratory will be essential in the proper treatment and swift recovery of wounded soldiers. The joint patronage of the laboratory was readily assumed by the ARS and One Armenia. This important, well-equipped medical unit was named after Dr. Norayr (Norik) Shahbazian, a martyred freedom fighter and close friend of the ARS.
ARS CEB chair Dr. Nyree Derderian, ARS Armenia Regional Executive chair Zoya Kocharian, and One Armenia representative Anahit Nazarian offered their congratulatory remarks to Dr. Armen Mouradian and Hayakuhi Minasian, managers of the rehabilitation center. All participants approached the various medical equipment displayed in the hall to learn about the particular function of each unit. The ARS was honored by the rehabilitation center with the “Partner” award for its efforts since the center’s inception. After a brief reception, members of the CEB were given a tour of the facilities. Everyone departed with a deep sense of fulfillment, determined to do their utmost to meet the needs of our wounded soldiers.
A delegation consisting of members of ARS Armenia’s entities visited Yerablur and participated in a requiem in solemn remembrance of the brave fallen soldiers in battles fought in defense of their homeland. The CEB laid a wreath of flowers at the base of the Unknown Warrior Monument erected at the entrance of Yerablur, as well as on the tombstone of Soseh Mayrig. ARS members said a prayer and burned incense for the eternal spirit of the Armenian nation and the intrepid soul of the Armenian woman, the luminous pride of the nation as a fearless fedayee, who fought at the side of her husband Serob Aghbyur for the greater glory of a free homeland and nation.
“Two generations are laid to rest in this holy place։ the fearless generation of the 90s, who gifted us with victories, while the second – the 44-day war generation, who, while fearlessly resisting the enemy, tried to defend Artsakh and Armenia,” noted Dr. Derderian. “We are duty-bound to continue their half-completed national duty, always keeping alive the memory of our martyrs.”
ARS members assembled around the grave of their idealized predecessor role model Soseh Mayrig and sang the ARS anthem, reviving their sacred oath to be steadfast and provide relief to our people and our homeland. After an emotional farewell to Soseh Mayrig’s grave, ARS members visited the graves of Armenian martyrs, offering their prayers and emotions of deep respect and pride.
The next stage was the Proshian Martyrs’ Pantheon, where old and recent heroes of the Artsakh Liberation Wars are also laid to rest. ARS members paid their respects at these gravesites and engaged in consoling conversations with the relatives of the martyrs. Praising the valor of our martyrs, Nora Sevagian expressed her gratitude and pride to the mothers who raised and nurtured heroic sons who willingly sacrificed their young lives in defense of our homeland.
While it was a long and emotional day, ARS members were overwhelmed by deep feelings of patriotism. That evening, they participated in the torchlit march to Tziternagapert, which was organized by the ARF Youth of Armenia.
On Monday, April 25, the ARS CEB visited the ARS Mother and Child Health and Birthing Center in Akhurian, where they were informed of details of new medical equipment and modernization efforts on the premises. They congratulated the mothers of the newborn babies and the staff for their efficient and exemplary performance. They also visited the Gyumri Shirvanian Center, where they met with representatives of the local ARS. Then, they headed to Cherkezi Dzor, where they had an intimate lunch with the chief physicians of the maternity ward, listening to their reports of their plans for the future.
Always on the ramparts, the great family of the ARS serves its people selflessly both in the homeland and abroad, extending its helping hand to all those in need of assistance. Still, for the ARS, the most precious is the call of the homeland, which will never remain unanswered, at the cost of any sacrifice, because the ARS is born of the very bosom of its people, to serve its people until the rise of the radiant dawn of justice.
The ongoing endeavors of the ARS CEB continue uninterrupted. The next phase is Artsakh. We invited you to follow our global activities on the news media.