YEREVAN — President Serzh Sargsyan and First Lady Rita Sargsyan attended a concert named Generation of Independence to mark the 25th anniversary of Armenia’s independence, at the Karen Demirjian Sport and Concert Complex.
Present were a slew of dignitaries, including the leadership of Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia, and Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan.
In his address, Sargsyan looked back to how far the country had come, since its painful emergence in the and the role of youth in the future.
“We are celebrating the 25th anniversary of our independence with our heads held high. What did we have at the beginning of that road? We had a country, one third of which was literally leveled to the ground by a devastating earthquake. People had no place to live, to say nothing of jobs. In that situation, we received hundreds of thousands of refugees from the neighboring country. Moreover, we were standing at the verge of a full-scale war. We started under energy crisis and blockade. Probably neither of the former Soviet Republics had such unfavorable starting position. But we did not falter in our choice, remained true to our resolve to build an independent and democratic state.
“Our people overcame all hardships with the peculiar tenacity, wisdom, diligence, and courage. Our people revealed the ability to defend Armenia and Artsakh, to develop economy and social life.
He added that the most important defenders of the nation are its youth. “For me, the greatest achievement of the new 25 year old Armenia is the generation born in independence. In past 25 years, a new generation grew up in Armenia for which to be a citizen of Armenia is not just a destiny but also an honor: a new generation, which is open to the world and is educated better that the previous generations; a new generation which is politically literate and believes in the noblest and most humane values; a generation whose mentality is based on the principles of freedom and democracy.”