January 28, 2014 - 17:15 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Hundreds of community members attended a requiem Mass and rally at St. Mary’s Armenian Church in Glendale, CA, to pay their respects to the Artsakh Junior Sergeant Armen Hovhannisyan, who died last week heroically defending his homeland. The event was organized by the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Western U.S. Central Committee, according to Asbarez.
During the Mass, the Very Rev. Father Muron Aznikian praised the courage of Armenian heroes.
The rally, which was held in front of the Cross Stone at St. Mary’s Church courtyard, was initiated by ARF Western U.S. Central Committee’s public relations director Saro Nazarian.
The message from the ARF youth was presented by David Arakelyan. Lamenting that he could not talk about peace, Arakelyan expressed his anger at Azerbaijan’s barbaric aggression. He also voiced his frustration at the Minsk Group Co-chairs who call for restraint from both sides, but ignore the reality that Azerbaijan is the only entity that does not exercise restraint, according to Asbarez.
The current reality, said Arakelyan, “is forcing our nation, especially our youth, to work with renewed dedication in order to defend our homeland.”
“For all of us, Armen Hovhannisyan must become an example of selflessness, courage and love for the homeland,” Arakelyan said, calling on the entire Armenian nation “to sacrifice in the name of justice and in the name of a free, united and independent Armenia.”
Armenian Veterans’ Association chairmen Vigen Ghazaryan read an announcement on behalf of the organization, while Salpi Mailian performed a rendition of the ARF Anthem.
Speaking on behalf of the Central Committee, Avedik Izmirlian said that sacrificing oneself for the freedom of the nation is one of the tenets of the ARF, adding that Armen Hovhannisyan was the bearer of that distinction for his heroism in combat.
Izmirlian also promoted the contributions of the Western U.S. to Artsakh’s liberation struggle and the commitment of the community to advance justice and support the people of Artsakh.
The ARF leader also emphasized the importance of unity within the community on the road to strengthening Artsakh’s statehood and the international recognition for the Nagorno Karabakh Republic.