On Monday, September 21, His Holiness Karekin II, the Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, stood alongside Armenia’s President Armen Sarkissian, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, and government and church dignitaries in a solemn ceremony honoring the 29th anniversary of Armenia’s independence.
At the Yerablur military cemetery, situated atop a hill overlooking Yerevan’s Malatia-Sepastia district, the leaders offered prayers and laid flowers on the distinctively carved grave stones, in memory of all those who have died in the cause of Armenia’s independence.
As the pantheon of Armenia’s military heroes, Yerblur is the final resting place of such exalted figures as General Antranig, General Sebouh, Sose Mayrig, Monte Melkonian, and soldiers who lost their lives in the Nagorno-Karabagh war.
In a tribute message issued for the day, His Holiness emphasized the spirit of national solidarity that was so essential to the birth and maturity of the Armenian republic. “We must always acknowledge, with pride, the united sacrifice and commitment of every Armenian throughout these years…. Henceforth, the shining sacrament of Independence Day should invite the children of our nation to honor the hard road that the founding generation undertook, and to nourish their aspiration to live and prosper in an independent land built by our own efforts.”
Click here to view a video on the ceremonies honoring the 29th anniversary of Armenia’s independence. The clip also features some wonderful archival footage of the people and events surrounding the 1991 independence referendum.