Thousand Victims of War – Thousand Heroes

History is made by heroes and heroes – by ordinary people. People with ordinary biography would live for themselves, work in a small team, draw something or drive a taxi, write reports, would never imagine how much heroism is hidden in them, if not for the war.

It was during the war that the Armenian army became a real army, as well as the soldiers and the officers. At first, when people went with homemade weapons to defend their homeland and family and were just friends of volunteers like them, then, when the war continued its dirty work, they started to obey the orders of those whom the war made a little stronger and tougher…

A working guy from Stepanakert, who had truly “golden hands” and a golden heart – Ashot Ghulyan became known as Bekor (Splinter), because of the many splinters in his body. He would be the best locksmith of a factory, if not for the Karabakh war, which made him the commander of the first group of the Karabakh defense army.

A modest man and a serious scientist at the same time, the head of the Department of Computational Mathematics Research Institute of laser technology in Yerevan, a talented person not only in the field of mathematics and physics but also in sports, Leonid Azgaldyanin, in his turn could hardly imagine that would soon become a unique commander who was adored by soldiers …

An American Monte Melkonian, who graduated from the UC Berkeley with a specialty in “Archaeology and History of Asia”, and mastered nine languages, would also not imagine that his life would end in Karabakh when he volunteered to come to defend his compatriots in a blockade, protecting their homes with “naked arms” against the Azerbaijani army.

These three men are just three out of thousands like them. Three out of thousands, voluntarily replaced their peaceful occupations with a military ones, at the same time learning the basics of the art of war and making creative adjustments to it.

They are the three out of thousands that show not only the geography of the Armenian army – Armenia, Diaspora, Karabakh but also its diversity. Three out of thousands, showed that belief can make miracles – even when the enemy before you is superior in numbers and weaponry.

“Our greatest treasure is volunteer soldiers. This country does not have anything greater than that, and they cannot be sacrificed for just a piece of land. All projects, attacks, and defense should be organized in a way that the number of victims was as few as possible.

A lot of sweat – less blood,”  Leonid Azgaldyan used to say, emphasizing the most important thing for any army: ”human life is of great value”. Today Leonid, Ashot, Monte … Vartan, David, Armen … Samvel, Mher, Tigran… died. They are not with us physically, but for the sake of which they died, continue to live.

Proud steps of an Armenian soldier during a parade, laughter of a child, a quiet discourse in a little Karabakh village, the bell ringing in Gandzasar – all this is a living memory of those who died for our opportunity to live. Unfortunately, you are thousands  – those, who died. Fortunately, you are thousands of heroes.

And just because we have you, your examples, your words, your images, we know that we have a history that we cannot be ashamed of. And this history has a future. A happy future which you dreamed of…


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