YEREVAN. – Armenia’s President, Serzh Sargsyan, issued a congratulatory address on the occasion of Republic Day.
“May 28 has been much spoken and written about, and I am confident, it will be referred too many more times. And it is quite natural because it signifies an exceptional event which we had waited for a long time, which we had dreamed about for centuries and for which the best sons of our nation had sacrificed their lives. On that day, we had turned the wheel of history and set the right course. In fact, that momentous event had taken place much earlier; it had taken place in our mentality and political thinking, when the Armenians living in their homeland realized that we must live on our own land not as a community but as a state; we must fight not as fidais - freedom fighters, but as an Army.
We must live and struggle as Armenia; this was the new mentality and the new political thinking. The heroic battles of May are anchored first of all on these percepts. May 28 fixed on the paper the reality which had already taken place in our minds and on the battle field. It all started when the distressed became hopeful, when they trusted their own power and changed their attitude toward the Armenian homeland. For me personally, May 28 is precious because on that very day we changed our self-assessment.
Moreover, the glorious battles and claim for political independence had changed also the foreigners’ assessment. Only one week before May 28, Armenia or Armenians were a non-existent political factor. On that day, we told all neighbors, friends close and distant, as well as foes that we existed and we existed as the most serious factor in this region. On that day, we told everyone that we existed and would exist eternally, that we were a nation and a state; that we had interests and goals; that we would defend fiercely ourselves, our interests and would pursue our national goals. On the other hand, our Republic had adopted the most advanced ideas, democratic rule, and had set the standard of human rights at the highest level which existed in the world in those times. We adopted on the state level the universal human and national values, with the conviction that they complement each other.
We are far from idealizing our First Republic. We remember that it was also a country of famine, epidemics, exiles and half-dead orphans. But because of this all, our First Republic is even more precious to us. On May 28, the foundation of the new state structure had been laid, and that structure assumed a mission of salvaging an ancient people from extinction.
However, I would like to repeat that the most significant thing had happened: psychologically and politically a new Armenian was born – the citizen of the Republic of Armenia.
Dear Fellow Citizens,
I once again congratulate you on this great holiday. I wish us all peaceful work and the image befitting a proud citizen of the state. I wish that we remain forever worthy of the heroic deeds and dreams of the heroes, who had made May 28 possible,” the President’s message reads.