Image courtesy of Pixabay and Marsel Majid
Some in silence and some in tears, the souls of great empires and the brave hearts of nations have left the stage of humankind never again to reappear. It is not for us, those who have lived and walked on an earth soaked in blood to decide the future, but for the young who look beyond the tomorrows and choose their road.
Life now passes too soon for us; it never ends, youth believes, for them.
The empires – the Holy Roman Empire, the Mongols, the Romanovs, the Han Dynasty or the Byzantine- and others are gone and they have washed their hands of their bloody deeds. Why should they be remembered for their horrific chapters in the history of mankind? And surely there is no reason to remember the ignoble chapter in history that the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics played during its brief but perverse era on this globe as a superpower.
Or is there?
We talk today of Russian Mafia, of oligopolies, of the Russian Federation and how Russian President Putin is attempting to manipulate the outcome of the 2016 US Presidential Election. Some would even form alliances with the Russian tyrant. How quickly we forget the evil and the trials and tribulations of the Soviets, of their political plots that led to the murders of millions of innocent men, women and children. Wasn’t it only yesterday that they, the Soviets, were shouting, “We will bury you (United States)!” Lenin, Stalin, Khrushchev, Brezhnev, Andropov, Chernenko, Gorbachev, and Yeltsin have played their roles and are now only a page or two of 20th century history. These men are dead, but the seeds they planted while they were in power still live. Their scarlet flag inspired men and women to plunder and kill anyone who would raise their voices in opposition to their cause.
As an American of Armenian heritage, I cannot lock my lips when I hear the words “ Ottoman” or “Young Turks” or see them on the written page. They murdered my grandfather, my aunts and cousins – who instigated the 1st genocide of the 20th Century, on that ignoble day, April 24, 1915, with their slaughter of 1.5 million of my ancestors.
From the ashes of that genocide the Armenians created the first Republic of Armenia in full view of our beloved Ararat on May 28, 1918. It lasted but three years and then the red, blue, and orange of our flag was not seen again for 70 years. A lack of experience in governance and the reliance of western help led to the demise. The Armenians survived the gulags, the Second World War, the purges, and the bread lines to live another day. That day came on September 21, 1991, when Armenia declared its Independence.
Today, Armenians around the world can stand tall on what the young republic has accomplished as a free society: economic reforms, free enterprise, a market economy that helped stock the shelves of store with foreign and local goods. There are no more bread lines or midnight knocks on the doors, with the KGB breaking them down and making unwarranted arrests.
The rebirth of the Republic of Armenia has been a painful one. But it has given the nation, the first nation in recorded history to go to war to remain a Christian nation, the liberty and freedom to chart its own destiny.
Armenians, history has shown, are survivors. Give them a task, they will do it. Today, in the land of a 1000 Christian churches and the home of Noah’s Ark, life is good and they will make it even better.
“It is not the weight of the problem, but the number of those who are willing to bear the fight and lighten the load that count.” -Armenian adage
In celebration of the Silver Anniversary of Armenia’s independence, John Kerry, US Secretary of State, issued the following statement to the Armenian People:
“On behalf of President Obama and the American people, I want to extend my congratulations to the people of Armenia as you celebrate the 25th anniversary of your nation’s independence on September 21.
“The United States deeply values its warm friendship with Armenia and with all of you. In the past quarter century, Armenia has made great progress, and my government looks forward to continuing to work closely with you in support of shared prosperity, strong democratic institutions, the rule of law, and regional peace. We appreciate Armenia’s consistent support for effective international peacekeeping, and its leading role in responding to the Syrian refugee crises. We are also grateful for the presence in the United States of a vibrant and highly-accomplished Armenian community.
“On this special day, I offer best wishes to all Armenians for a peaceful and prosperous year to come.”
Secretary of State
September 19, 2016
Tom Mooradian was one of 151 Americans who traveled to Soviet Armenia to repatriate during the 1940’s. Thought to be a spy by the KGB, Tom miraculously survived 13 years behind the Iron Curtain winning the hearts of the Soviets through his basketball prowess. Filled with political drama, romance, and intrigue, Tom’s autobiography, The Repatriate reads like a novel, and will have you guessing how Tom managed to return to America alive.
The Second Edition is now available on Kindle and in Paperback!