Speech of President Bako Sahakyan delivered at the solemn awarding ceremony dedicated to the Victory Holiday, Day of the Artsakh Republic Defense Army and Liberation of Shoushi
Respectful generals, officers and soldiers,
The May 9 Triple Holiday is one of our dearest and cherished holidays that symbolizes victory, devotion, cohesion, courage, remembering and appreciating the heroic pages of our history which is of particular importance for Artsakh and the whole Armenian nation especially at this time.
Azerbaijan, undertaking the April large-scale military operations along the whole perimeter of the Karabagh-Azerbaijani border once again tried to carry out by means of war its terrorist and criminal plans against our people and state.
And only due to the strength of our Defense Army, unprecedented courage and unyielding spirit of our soldiers it was possible to give a worthy counterstroke to the unbridled enemy, which suffering heavy losses in manpower and military equipment was forced to ask for a ceasefire.
Today we are full of pride for our young generation that was born and grew up during the years of independence of the two Armenian republics. They continue with dignity the cause of their hero fathers and grandfathers defending the Motherland in the hours of ordeal.
Our young boys who were at the forefront faced the main blow of the enemy. The adversary was forced to retreat due to the heroism and courage of those boys and numerous freedom-fighters and volunteers who came to the aid. Eternal honor and glory to all those, who honestly fulfilled their duty towards their Motherland!
Regrettably, we had irretrievable losses on those days, dozens of our brave sons had martyred. We had losses among civilians too. Their immortal names will always remain bright in our hearts.
I would like to take a minute of silence to respect the memory of all our martyrs.
We are peace-loving people, but will never tolerate any encroachment attempt against our country's security and will give a fitting rebuff to any aggression of the foe.
On the April war all the Armenians stood up again demonstrating unprecedented cohesion, exceptional ability to unite in hard times, invaluable readiness to help and assist their compatriots having appeared in danger by all means possible and to be by their side. Mother Armenia and the Diaspora united around Artsakh. The whole nation became a single army; being useful to the common cause became the duty for everybody.
On these fatal days public and political figures from various countries, representatives of international organizations were also with us. We rate high their honest and impartial work.
I would like to accentuate the work implemented on these hard days by our state agencies with a deep realization of the whole seriousness of the moment and high responsibility. The executive, including the President's office, legislative, power structures and all the state bodies worked hard and did all the possible for proper solution of the set tasks manifesting thus the ability of the state institutions to work in crucial situations.
Today we know much better our successes and shortcomings. It is necessary perform great work to eliminate the identified drawbacks. Here too we should work together and united, in the atmosphere of mutual respect.
I am confident that this we will overcome all the difficulties and challenges with flying colors becoming stronger and steadfast. We defend our native land, our home and family. It is a holy struggle where victory does not have any alternative.
Our heroic people proved this by their courage and endurance, overcame all the difficulties with decency for their right to live in a free and independent country.
I once again congratulate all those who were honored with high state awards.
I congratulate all of us on the Victory Holiday, the Day of Artsakh Republic Defense Army and the Liberation of Shoushi, wishing peace and great success.
Stepanakert, May 8, 2016.