RADNOR, Penn. — Local NBC news affiliate, WCAU NBC10, was present as students at the Armenian Sisters Academy commemorated the historic Battle of Avarayr, a major milestone in the preservation of Armenia’s Christian identity. Students in grades 4-8 reenacted the valiant efforts of General Vartan Mamigonian and his army of clergymen, noblemen and laymen as they attempted to defend their rights to worship as Christians. Montessori students recited poems and sang songs dedicated to General Vartan and his fellow martyrs. Clergy and community members representing the five Armenian churches in Greater Philadelphia were also present.
The 30-second segment that aired on NBC10 can be seen here: http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/video/ – !/news/local/School-Celebrates-Its-Roots-With-Battle-Reenactments/292086921
“Every year the Armenian Sisters Academy celebrates Vartanantz Day,” stated Sister Emma Moussayan, Principal. “It is important for our students to learn that Vartan and his compatriots valued their faith more than their own lives. As Armenians, we owe our gratitude to the Sts. Vartanantz for their courage and unyielding moral resistance in the face of physical annihilation,” she added.
The program, prepared by the tireless efforts of the Academy’s Armenian teachers, began with the singing of Mer Hayrenik and the Hymn of St. Vartan. After a few opening remarks by Sister Emma, the Montessori students (ages 3-6) took the stage and inspired the audience with their recitation of the poem “Vartan” and singing of “Vartanank.” Boys in grades 4-8 depicted the heroic Armenian rebellion led by General Vartan Mamigonian against Persian King Hazgerd as clergy and nobles alike fought side by side to defend Armenia’s Christianity. The 7th and 8th grade girls poignantly recited Vahan Tekeyan’s poem “Vartanank. The 5th and 6th grade girls who gave an emotional performance of the song Yerk Vartanantz followed them. The program concluded with the student body singing “Vartanantz Asbedner.” Final remarks were delivered by Very Reverend Father Oshagan Gulgulian of St. Sahag and St. Mesrob Armenian Apostolic Church who commended the students’ performance and stressed the importance of Armenian day schools where students not only learn the Armenian language but also the history and culture.