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YEREVAN. – Freedom and patriotism are two sides of the same medal, said President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan, during his address at the Nation-Army 2017 Forum on Thursday.

In his remarks, Sargsyan reflected on the role that schools and teachers play in nurturing patriotism.

“We need to strengthen our school system. In raising a dignified citizen and a responsible member of the society school certainly plays a pivotal role. Patriotism, humanism, and integrity were instilled in us by our teachers.

“Who is taking care of a garden? Its owner does.

Who is working day and night to protect the garden from frost? Who is watering, drenching, and protecting the garden? Only and only its owner.

“Our Fatherland is that very garden, whose owner is the laborer and servant at the same time. Patriot is the person who is indiscriminately the owner and the laborer at the same time.

“To be the master of one’s own earnings, of one’s own country, of one’s own rights – all this means to be free. Freedom and patriotism are two sides of the same medal. Let’s be worthy of that medal. Let’s defend our freedoms as we will defend our garden since without that garden we will have no earning or anything else.

“Imminent threat unites many. It is called, as you know, the instinct of self-preservation. Even animals have that instinct. Our national unity should not and is not based on the instinct of self-preservation. This is a deeply comprehended choice and is called freedom – master’s freedom and master’s responsibility. It has been an important element of our identity and self-consciousness for millennia, and will continue to be.

“When we say that we respect and will respect fundamental human freedoms, we are not trying to please anyone. We say and do it because without fundamental freedoms no one is a complete human being.

“We need complete individuals. We need masters of our land, who are ready to toil and defend their earning, their garden - our Armenia.

“In peaceful times, we are nation of gardeners, but in time of trouble we become a nation-army. This is the concept of our land’s masters, laborers, and country defenders,” the President of Armenia stressed, in particular.

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