Jan 28 2012

Yerevan, 27 January: Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan made a
congratulatory address today on the occasion of the 20th anniversary
of the creation of the Armed Forces of Armenia.

"After losing independent statehood, the Armenian nation brought
forth many warriors, but was not blessed with having its own army. The
Armenian soldiers, officers and generals brought glory to different
countries through their personal valor and dedication, but our nation's
sons were deprived of the opportunity to defend jointly interests of
the motherland and rights of the fellow citizens.

Twenty years ago, we turned the wheel of history. At that critical
time, our nation reinstated its independent statehood and took
total responsibility for the protection of its rights and national
interests. At the moment of that historic rise, the creation of the
Armenian army was one of the most momentous achievements.

There was an imperative to thwart the imminent danger of a genocide
looming over the Armenian people and, particularly, over the Armenians
of Artsakh [Karabakh]. That vital episode of the army creation was
necessitated by the time itself.

Our cause was just, and we were ready for confrontation. We knew
that we alone could protect our right to live. However, we also fully
realized that that right and justice were our strength and resolve.

Volunteers, who rose against intolerance, hostility and blind hatred,
became the core of the Armenian regular army. At the moment of
national awakening, many of those volunteers sacrificed their lives
on the altar of the motherland's defence and security.

Eternal glory to them, reverence and admiration to their memory.

Generals, officers, soldiers,

Anniversary of our army is your professional holiday. Choosing this
profession, you have assumed responsibility towards your contemporaries
and future generations. But at the same time, you have chosen Vardan
Mamikonyan's and Hovhannes Baghramyan's path, which means that your
accomplishments will be measured by the standards set by them. I have
no doubt that every military serviceman in the Republic of Armenia,
regardless of his or her duty station and position, realizes that
historic responsibility.

Let's recall that at the beginning we were counting arms and even
bullets, while today we have an impressive level of weaponry. We
have dug trenches metre by metre, hundreds of kilometres of military
fortifications; we have constructed thousands of apartments for the
servicemen and a respectable building for the Ministry of Defence. We
have created a military-industrial complex and created a worthy image
of the army. We have done all this together, the entire nation. And
continue to do it through our work, through our trust in our army
and exceptional warmth towards it.

It's hard to tell in a couple of words everything that has been done
in twenty years. The military parade dedicated to the 20th anniversary
of the reinstated Armenian independence and the cease-fire, which is
being preserved since 1994, are the most precise report and test held
before the people of Armenia and the entire Armenian nation.

The Armed Forced of the Republic of Armenia are among the most
important guarantees of the preservation of the balance, hence
of the peace and security in our region. Today, our troops guard
Armenia's peace and tranquility; at the same time they are engaged in
the international peace-keeping missions, where they have manifested
their best qualities and multiplied their reputation of the disciplined
and brave soldiers.

I once again congratulate us all on the occasion of this glorious
holiday. I wish that peace always reign in our country and the
region, and our people continue their creative work for the benefit
of Armenia's empowerment and advancement," president said.