May 28: First Republic Day Marked in Armenia

YEREVAN (ArmeniaNow) — The independence anniversary of the First Republic was marked in Armenia on May 28, with the country’s top political, military and spiritual leadership attending traditional celebrations at Sardarapat, 40 kilometers west of the capital, where advancing Turkish troops were stopped in a heroic battle 96 years ago.

Along with other Armenian military successes at Bash-Aparan, Karakilisa and elsewhere, the May 1918 victory also led to the establishment of the first Armenian republic.

The First Republic of Armenia lasted for about two and a half years.

Armenian President Serge Sargisian attended the celebrations at the Sardarapat Memorial. On the occasion, he issued state awards and ranks to different notable figures who have made achievements in the spheres of science, education, economy, health, culture, arts and sports, as well as to a number of representatives of the Diaspora and servicemen.

“The fact that this ceremony is taking place in Sardarapat has special meaning. Herewith we emphasize the link and continuity of generations of our people,” Sargisian said. “Herewith we stress that the work done by all of us is largely in the same orbit. It is the Armenian statehood, its history and present. A serviceman, a teacher, a scientist, an artist, a doctor — we all are in the same orbit that is called the Republic of Armenia.”

He also made an address to the nation on the occasion of First Republic Day. He emphasized the great significance of the Armenian victory at Sardarapat that saved the nation from total destruction.

“All facts and the whole reality seemed to be against us, but we were saved here. We ourselves gained the right to live and return to the international political arena. And that was done by the most tragic, but at the same time most heroic generation of Armenians of all times,” Sargisian noted.