On May 28, Armenians around the world will honor the centennial anniversary of the Battle of Sardarabad, and the establishment of the First Armenian Republic (1918-1920).
In the depths of the Armenian Genocide, Ottoman forces advanced on Eastern Armenia—coming within striking distance of the capital city Yerevan and Holy Etchmiadzin—but were repelled by the native Armenians in a series of battles at Sardarabad, Abaran, and Karakilisa—which have come to be known as the “Heroic Battles of May.”
In an encyclical honoring the milestone, His Holiness Karekin II, the Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, paid tribute to the divine spirit of unity that animated the Armenian people in their life-or-death struggle to defend the remnant of their ancient homeland.
“Our entire nation—united in one will and one soul—stood up to save the homeland, its life, its sacred places; to protect our right to live freely in our native land. Eastern Armenia was saved from ruin and massacre, and after a long interval of five and a half centuries Armenian statehood was restored….
“Today, this 100th anniversary is an invitation to re-dedicate ourselves to this national awakening, to keep our homeland strong, and to consolidate our efforts here. This jubilee is also a milestone to devote ourselves to strengthening our country and national life; to continue efforts towards settling the Artsakh issue; and to strengthening our armed forces to safeguard peace within our homeland. This 100th anniversary presents a message of national solidarity, of building further the relations among the motherland and diaspora, and of re-establishing unity within our church.”