March 19 marked the 140th anniversary of the birth of one of the titans of the modern history of Armenia and the symbol of the First Republic Aram Manukian.
Aram Manukian was a leader with national and state thinking, as well as exceptional organizational talent. He had inherent inspirational and at the same time imperious features of a leader who was endlessly devoted to his Motherland and the nation.
He had one conviction – an Armenian should only rely on himself.
“Everyone thinks only of himself,” said Manukian, “Nobody is interested in Armenians enough in order to render them substantial assistance. On the contrary, there is a treacherous attitude towards them. We must rely only on ourselves to defend the front and establish order inside the country.”
Those who united around Manukian received strength, enthusiasm, spirit, and life from him. His word was valuable for everyone. Those wishing to receive advice even addressed him with personal questions.
Hmayak Manukian writes in his memoirs: “Once in 1915, Aram and I were walking along Sose Street to the Labor House in Van when a young man approached us and asked to speak with Aram in privacy.
‘What’s the matter?’ Aram asked, ‘There are no secrets, tell me.’
The young man, embarrassed, came up and said quietly: ‘Mr. Aram, I want to marry. What advice would you give to me? Is it reasonable to marry in these troubled times or not?’
‘Go, you fool,’ replied Aram, holding back his laughter, ‘Am I a priest that you ask me? Go ask Ter Zakar or Ter Nerses. What do I have to do with marriages? If you want it, marry, if not, stay single forever.’
‘No, Mr. Aram, I need exactly your advice, please do not refuse.’
Aram went away with the young man for a few minutes. The latter then thanked him and left.”