YEREVAN (Combined Sources) — On September 21, Armenia marked the 24th anniversary of its independence. A total of 94.99 percent of Armenian citizens said a resolute “yes” to independence by means of a referendum in 1990 in favor of secession from the Soviet Union. Two days later, on September 23, the Supreme Council of the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic declared the country to be an independent, self-governing state, renamed the Republic of Armenia.
On the occasion of the 24th anniversary, President Serge Sargisian held a festive reception at the Karen Demirchyan Sports and Concerts Complex, and issued the following congratulatory message, presented in summary.
“Every time, when sharply a hundred and one days remain until the end of the regular year, we reiterate our pledge and declare to the world vociferously that we are here, we stand firm and determined. We are the masters of our own destiny, and our ancestors’ legacy belongs to us. We are the guarantors of cloudless mornings for our children and the pledge of peaceful sunsets for our parents. It is we, and nobody else.
“The tongue we speak is Armenian, in which we prayed at the dawn of civilization and which can be heard today from the highest rostrums of the world. It can be heard thanks to the absolute unity demonstrated by our people 24 years ago.
“That unity has not only granted us independence, but has also given us the power to fight and the spirit to create throughout two and a half decades. The Army and the State, market economy and civil society have been the institutes we established as our unambiguous response to the chance given to us by time and challenges imposed upon us.
“on our borders, in our villages, our mountains and our valleys the 21st day of September sometimes, alas, breaks not under the sounds of the Peace Bell, but under battle alerts.