Edmond Y. Azadian, member of the ADL Supreme Council and president of the Tekeyan Cultural Association of the United States and Canada

The Second ADL Youth Assembly Convened at Sardarapat

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SARDARAPAT, Armenia – The second Armenian Democratic Liberal Party (ADL) youth assembly took place on May 20 in the Sardarapat Complex.

Approximately 450 newly enrolled ADL members participated, along with some party leaders from Armenia and various diasporan communities, such as Vartan Nazerian, president of the ADL Supreme Council and Hagop Avedikian, chairman of the Central Committee.

Ozheni Avetisyan, chair of the ADL youth group of Armavir

Ozheni Avetisyan, chair of the ADL youth group of Armavir, led the opening ceremonies and acted as master of ceremonies throughout the event. After she spoke, Andranik Surenyan, representative of the Vanadzor Province ADL, took the floor.

Edmond Y. Azadian, member of the ADL Supreme Council and president of the Tekeyan Cultural Association of the United States and Canada, delivered his words of welcome, recalling the vital role of the Battle of Sardarapat and its significance in the history of the Armenian people. He noted the undeniable participation of the ADL in this victory.

Azadian said, “Sardarapat is not a monument. It is not stone and wood. Sardarapat is blood. Today we stand on the blood of the martyrs of the heroic Battle of Sardarapat of one hundred years ago. I want you to be aware of this because we turned that blood into life. Thanks to that blood spilled here one hundred years ago, we today have an independent homeland, and in that matter, the ADL had its role. Today we humble ourselves before that blood, we humble ourselves before those heroes, who spilled that blood. We humble ourselves so that today you, you youth, proudly stand in front of this monument and swear in their name that our homeland will continue for one hundred more years, and for one thousand more years. It will continue, since we are taking an oath on the blood of our heroes that the Armenians are a people who have the right to live. Dear youth, you are the generation inheriting Sardarapat. You must live long so that our homeland lives long.”

The centennial ceremony of the Sardarapat Battle coincided with the solemn oath-taking ceremony of the newly enrolled young members of the ADL. Nazerian, Azadian and Vartkes Kourouyan conducted it in unison.

From left, Vartkes Kourouyan, Edmond Azadian, Vartan Nazerian, administering the ADL oath

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Afterwards, Nazerian spoke, stressing the pivotal role of the youth for the building of Armenia today and the future. In particular, he stressed the necessity for the strength and energy of the youth to serve towards the progress and prosperity of Armenia. Nazerian remarked that henceforth the youth too can hold positions in the political party’s administrative bodies. Finally, he added that the change of generations is not revolution, and that while realizing this change, the sacrifices and labor of senior party members must be always remembered.

Nazerian exclaimed, “The motto of our party is ‘Of the people, with the people and for the people.’ Now I wish to declare that henceforth our motto is ‘Of the youth, with the youth and for young Armenia.’ Long live all of you! May you quickly grow so strong that we cross to the other shore of the Araxes [River] and view Mount Ararat from the other side. May we meet again next year in Van.”

The ADL president declared 2018 to be the year of the ADL youth. In the name of the Supreme Council and the Central Committee, Nazerian also declared that the party would participate in the next elections of the Armenian National Assembly.

Vartkes Kourouyan was another one of the speakers, and like the other ADL leaders, he stressed the necessity of incorporating youth into the ranks of the party.

Talented members of the ADL assured the festive nature of the event by presenting Armenian national dances and music to the participants and the guests. The ADL youth and guests also visited the museum of Sardarapat devoted to Armenian ethnography and the history of the Armenian liberation struggle, and became familiar with Armenian culture and the history of the heroic battles of May.

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