It was January 22 or 23, 1993. Two Azerbaijani helicopters opened fire in the direction of the Yerits Mankunk church which we thought was a safe cover. The huge cross fell down from the dome.
The commander of our special forces, Shahen Meghryan, said that we must restore this cross. And we all gave a promise that we would put the cross back in its place. Before leaving, I took pictures of the guys, and then, the war would put us on different roads.
Soon, Shahen Meghryan perished, many of the guys perished. So, our oath remained unfulfilled…
Once, 21 years later, when I was telling my friends this story, one of the present, army officer Karen Tangyan, announced that he would help because the oath of the guys should be fulfilled. We then arrived at the church and made measurements. Shahen Meghryan’s brother Petros also accompanied us.
We found out from the leader of the Artsakh diocese priest Pargev that the size of the cross should be comparable with the size of the church and that not every person has the right to make a cross.
Soon, Karen Tangyan called me and said that the cross was ready… And we, joyful and light-hearted, went to the Yerits Mankunk church to fulfill the vow given by the warriors of the special unit “Yeghnikner” 21 years earlier. The cross was consecrated by the spiritual leader of the Armenian armed forces priest Vrtanes.
Memoirs of a participant of the Karabakh war, photographer Hakob Poghosyan