“People must believe in themselves, in their creative talent, in the power to change the world and the future” - PM attends gala event on Vazgen Sargsyan’s 61st anniversary
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Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan attended a gala event dedicated to the 61st anniversary of Vazgen Sargsyan, which was held at the Yerkrapah Volunteer Union (YVU) headquarters.
The Premier first laid flowers at the monument to Vazgen Sargsyan and paid tribute to his memory. Nikol Pashinyan congratulated everyone on Vazgen Sargsyan’s 61st anniversary and went on to highlight the fact that congratulations are being voiced in the “Yerkrapah Volunteer Union, since the YVU is one of the most significant manifestations of Vazgen Sargsyan’s public activities.
“Significant not only and not so much in the physical sense, but the depth of its content. Why do we attach so much importance to Vazgen Sargsyan's activities as one of the organizers of the liberation struggle, as the founder of the modern Armenian army? There is a very simple explanation for that: because Vazgen Sargsyan's activity as a freedom fighter was first of all a reflection of a man's belief in his own strength to change the destiny of his people, to change the future of his people. And I think that this belief was born in the beginning of the 90s from Vazgen Sargsyan. This faith infected hundreds, thousands of our compatriots, and it was thanks to this faith that victory was gained in the Artsakh war of liberation,” Nikol Pashinyan said.
The Head of Government noted that, having studied our national destiny, we can state that most of our victories are connected with faith in our own strengths, faith in our past and our future. “This was the case in the 90s, and Vazgen Sargsyan was one of the most prominent exponents of this faith, at the beginning of the last century - in 1918, Aram Manukyan was, and I think that it’s the instinct of self-preservation of our people from time to time that gives rise to figures, who cultivating faith in themselves can infect others with it. Therefore, our task is the same at all times,” the Prime Minister said, noting that everything possible should be done so that as many representatives of our people as possible believe in themselves, in their creative talent and power to change reality, peace and the future.
Nikol Pashinyan emphasized that it is thanks to this faith and this quality that we must create new victories. “At the same time, it is very important to note that after achieving this glorious and pivotal victory in 1994, we, unfortunately, cannot currently capture such large-scale victories in other areas: economics, education, foreign policy, our rule of law, protection of rights , while the only way to consolidate and perpetuate this glorious victory was that our large-scale military victory was followed by such a large-scale victory in the field of education, starting from preschool educational institutions, secondary schools and finishing at higher and educational institutions. We had to achieve the same major victories in economics, the same major victories in science, art and all possible spheres. If there were such victories, today our society would not discuss in any way whether we will be able to solve the Artsakh issue in our interests, whether we will be able to confront security challenges that exist in our region,” the Prime Minister said, noting that we would not discuss at all the issue where it is preferable for a citizen of the Republic of Armenia and in general for any Armenian to live - in the Republic of Armenia, in the United States or in Europe.
“We would not discuss such issues at all. I am not saying this so that we despair over missed opportunities and time, I want us to return to our agenda and state that military successes will inevitably be lost if these successes are not consolidated today by economic victories of the same scale victories in the fields of education, protection of human rights, democracy, equality of people before the law. We also talked about this agenda at the last 12th congress of the Yerkrapah Volunteer Union, and I think we agreed that this is the main platform around which we must work and bring it to life,” the Prime Minister said.
According to Nikol Pashinyan, YVU President Sasun Mikaelyan was right to state that unfortunately, in those lost times there were ambiguous positions and approaches regarding the role and importance of the Yerkrapah Volunteer Union.
Nikol Pashinyan noted that he unequivocally shares the view that the YVU should not become a party or part of politics, because the liberation struggle, which is the indisputable value of our modern history, cannot be privatized by any political force, especially any political authorities, because it is a national achievement, a national treasure, and every citizen of the Republic of Armenia, Artsakh, and generally every Armenian should be able to be proud of this treasure.
“But here the second question arises: what should be the role of the Yerkrapah Volunteer Union in this era? I believe that this role should be to preserve and develop the victorious spirit of our people and the Armed Forces.
Recently, during one conversation, a high-ranking serviceman expressed a thought, which impressed me very much, and I would like to share that thought with you. He said that the regular army does not win wars, the regular army takes the first strike and withstands the first strike.
Further actions and the course of any war depends on how the rear and reserve manifest themselves. I think that the Yerkrapah Volunteer Union as a structure should become the most operational reserve of our Armed Forces, and, speaking of the operational reserve, I mean not so much a physical manifestation as a substantial, spiritual manifestation, because the YVU is that organization that carries the spirit of our victory. The Yerkrapa Volunteer Union should be the keeper and reserve of our victories and, if necessary, convey the spirit of this victory to our army, the Armed Forces. This should be the number one goal of the YVU,” Prime Minister Pashinyan said, noting that this is a task that is not related to any specific political force or the agenda of any authorities, but is related to the agenda of security and development of the state, the Republic Armenia, the Artsakh Republic and the Armenian people, as a whole.
“How should the spirit of this victory and the victory in general be applied and used in our daily lives? I have already said that victory cannot be privatized by any political force or authority. Although let us note, and this cannot be denied, that, yes, we had people, specific individuals, units, organizations, whose contribution to the victory is great and their contribution cannot be denied, it must be appreciated.
Until now, he has been highly appreciated, but if there are unappreciated episodes, then we must give them their due rating. However, it is one thing to recognize the role of these people, groups, organizations in the victory, and it’s quite another to talk about the privatization of victory, because victory cannot be privatized by organizations, individuals, groups, even, sorry, for my words, freedom fighters, because the value of victory, the greatness of the freedom fighter lies in the fact that he won not for himself, not for his family or his circle of friends. He won this victory for his people, for each representative of his people,” the Prime Minister said, adding that this is the greatness and calling of the freedom fighter.
The Premier stressed that this victory was not won in order to constantly show it to others. The victory was won in order to make every Armenian, every citizen of the Republic of Armenia and Artsakh today feel worthy and protected as a proud citizen of a proud country, whose rights and opportunities are not only protected, but also guaranteed.
“On the other hand, the public, a freedom fighter must see that they value him, appreciate his work, and do not forget his victory. And this is such a process, such content that seems obvious. However, we must regret that we have not gone all the way to the realization of this content, for objective and subjective reasons, sometimes there was no time, sometimes there were other times, sometimes there was no awareness of this agenda, but this is the main thing for the YVU in a new era . Of course, the YVU is not the only organization that contributed to this victory, but it is clear that the YVU is the structure that made the biggest contribution to our glorious victory.
The key importance of the new era of the Yerkrapah Volunteer Union’s activities should be to make every citizen of the Republic of Armenia, even those citizens who have never seen this war, born after this war, the master of this victory. These people today - citizens of the Republic of Armenia born in 2000, born in 98, born in 96, born in 2015 - should feel what you felt on the battlefield when you created your victories. And this, in my opinion, is the new mission of the Yerkrapa Volunteer Union in our time and this is a mission that does not matter for several years, not for several days, but for decades, centuries and even millennia.
I want us to agree that not only the maintenance, preservation, but also the transmission of the spirit of victory to every citizen, every Armenian should be the main point of cooperation between the YVU and the Government. And I am glad that we are mutually prepared to clearly and effectively devote ourselves to this task and do it effectively.
Long live freedom!
Long live the Republic of Armenia!
Long live our children and we as we are now living and will live in a free and happy Armenia!” Nikol Pashinyan said.