May 28: First Republic Day marked in Armenia -
First Republic Day was marked in Armenia today, May 28. The country’s top political, military and spiritual leadership attended traditional celebrations at Sardarapat, a location some 40 kilometers west of capital Yerevan, where advancing Turkish troops were stopped in a heroic battle these days 96 years ago.
Along with other Armenian military successes at Bash-Aparan, Karakilisa and elsewhere in May 1918 that victory also led to the establishment of the first democratic Armenian republic.
The first Republic of Armenia lasted for about two and a half years. It fell after Bolsheviks supported by the Red Army seized power in Armenia in late 1921 turning it into a Soviet republic.
Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan, who also attended the celebrations at the Sardarapat Memorial today, on the occasion of the holiday handed state awards and ranks to different figures who have made achievements in the spheres of science, education, economy, health, culture, arts and sports, as well as to a number of representatives of the Diaspora and a group of Army servicemen.
“The fact that this ceremony is taking place in Sardarapat has a special meaning. Herewith we emphasize the link and continuity of generations of our people,” Sargsyan said, according to the presidential press service. “Herewith we stress that the work done by all of us is largely in the same orbit. It is the Armenian statehood, its history and present. A serviceman, a teacher, a scientist, an artist, a doctor – we all are in the same orbit that is called the Republic of Armenia.”
President Sargsyan also made an address to the nation on the occasion of First Republic Day. He emphasized the great significance of the feat of Armenians at Sardarapat in May 1918 that saved the nation from total destruction.
“All facts and the whole reality seemed to be against us, but we were saved here. We ourselves gained the right to live and return to the international political arena. And that was done by the most tragic, but at the same time most heroic generation of Armenians of all times,” Sargsyan, in particular, said.