STEPANAKERT — “Remember the past. Protect the future.” This was the slogan of the torchlit march organized by the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) Youth Office of Artsakh on the 108th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide in Stepanakert, in memory of the more than 1.5 million innocent victims.
After the commemoration ceremony performed by Father Minas Movsisyan of St. Hakob Church, participants of the march moved from the church to the Zangakatun memorial built in memory of the Armenian Genocide victims of Stepanakert.
Artsakh’s Minister of Education, Science, Culture, and Sport Norayr Mkrtchyan noted in his speech that the hearts of the Artsakh people who pay their respects to the memory of the Genocide are beating in harmony with the Armenians who are suffering from the Genocide in the four corners of the world.
“We must declare the days of remembrance of our innocent victims as a result of crimes committed against Armenians at all times as days of national revenge and retribution. The souls of innocent victims are crying out for revenge, for justice, for national dignity, for the lost homeland, life and future generations,” said Mkrtchyan.
The torchlight procession, which has become an annual event, has a special meaning this year, as it is the fifth month of Azerbaijan’s ongoing blockade of Artsakh. Even today, after 108 years, the people of Artsakh are facing the threat of ethnic cleansing and genocide.
“On the 108th anniversary of the Genocide and the 133rd day of the siege of Artsakh, this commemorative march is also a wake-up call for humanity to prevent a new Armenian Genocide,” said ARF Artsakh Youth member Ani Hovhannisyan in her comments to the Weekly. “The purpose of the inhumane actions of Azerbaijan in the brutal 2020 war, the murders or deportations of thousands of Armenians, the cultural upheaval in the occupied territories of Artsakh is another attempt to destroy Armenians, deprive them of their homeland and take away our homeland from us.”
The people of Artsakh strongly believe that we must remember the painful pages of our past, learn from it and protect our future, because indifference and inaction endanger the existence of the Armenian nation.