Armenia marks the First Republic Day
On May 28th, Armenia celebrates the national holiday - the First Republic Day. This holiday is also called the Day of Sovereignty Restoration. On May 28th, 1918, Armenia achieved independence, seceding from the Transcaucasian Democratic Federative Republic, which formed after the collapse of the Russian Empire. The First Republic existed only for two years. On December 2nd, 1920, the government led by Prime Minister Simon Vratsyan signed an agreement with the RSFSR, and the Armenian SSR was formed. It existed until the collapse of the USSR in 1991.
In May of 1918, the Armenian National Council declared the independence of Armenia and establishment of First Republic of Armenia in Tbilisi. This event in the Declaration of Independence of Armenia is formulated as follows: “In view of the complete political collapse of the Trans-Caucasus and the new situation created by the proclamation of the independence of Georgia and Azerbaijan, the Armenian National Council declares itself the supreme and sole administration of the Armenian provinces."
Since the declaration of the First Republic, the main attributes inherent to the state – parliament and government – were established.
Despite the fact that the Republic of Armenia existed in that status for a relatively short period, May 28th remains an important date for the country’s residents.
According to tradition, the Armenia leadership has visited Sardarapat Memorial Complex on May 28th, where the May victories and 98th anniversary of the establishment of the First Republic are celebrated.
Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan, government members, Republican Party of Armenia (RPA) MPs, Defense Minister Seyran Ohanyan, Chief of the General Staff of Armenian Armed Forces Yuri Khachaturov and foreign diplomats accredited in Armenia visited the Memorial Complex, NEWS.am reports.
A parade with the participation of different subdivisions of servicemen took place at the Memorial Complex. Those present laid a wreath at the Monument to the heroes of Sardarabat Battle and paid a tribute to them. President Sargsyan welcomed the participants of the parade, congratulating them on the Republic Day. Thereafter the President watched the festive cultural program held at the Complex.
Apart from this, Serzh Sargsyan made a congratulatory address on occasion of the holiday: “My fellow compatriots, I congratulate you on the occasion of the Republic Day.
For us, this is first and foremost a salvation holiday. We saved our last piece of land and the last remnants of our nation residing on that piece of land. No matter how difficult to accept, but that was the truth.
The bleeding Armenian nation on the verge of desperation was able through the supernatural exertion to stand up to the enemy, to prevail, and throw the enemy back. Many consider the heroic battles of May and their victorious outcome a miracle. We prevailed, we survived, and we liberated ourselves.
Our independence and our statehood were not a gift to us. We paid for them the price nobody has ever paid. We did it alone; moreover, we did it despite the blows of the destiny.
With May 28, the foreign subjects and refugees had become citizens of a State. They became people who had solid ground beneath their feet and had a State behind them. It was a State they had to build; it was a state, which they had to serve to; it was a State, which they could make demands to; it was a State to criticize – with the anticipation of making it better. It was a State, which had to turn its almost lifeless populace, half of which were also orphans, into a political nation; it was a State, which had to bring up a new generation, re-born generation, which would be capable to register new scientific, cultural, and military achievements. It was a State, which predestined the existence of the Soviet Armenia and today’s Republic of Armenia.
On May 28 our nation stepped back from the verge of the abyss. We stepped back and moved towards the rebirth, towards creation, and toiling. We got back," he said.