You Only Die When Memory Dies With You

Before I begin, I must say that I’ve had the notes for this post for a week now. Life can become a bit too hectic when you are running around trying to get your life settled in any country, including your homeland. I’ll have a follow up post on some of those antics later on. TOday, however, is dedicated to Hratch Mouradian, former mayor of the Proshyan village which lies a scant 20 minute marshutka (Russian minibus) ride away from Yerevan’s “Paregamoutyoun” metro station. I must admit, I’ve always been fond of the names of the stations here.

 

Together we stood before the town hall, a great poster depicting Hratch as a soldier hanging over our heads with his Military Cross and several other medals adorning his side; a poster depicting his life, but never his death. Born in 1963, Hratch was not only a decorated war hero but a very real person, dedicated to improving the lives of the villagers he had been elected to govern, the red flag of the ARF wrapped tightly around his heart. To this day, I have not heard a single protestation against the man, learning instead that he had won the hearts of the young and the old, bereft of discrimination. And so we stood under the rainy sky, allowing our tears to mingle with the weeping of the Heavens, while holding onto flames protected by plastic cups and bottles. There is a call for justice and an entreaty to understand the philosophy of this great man. The struggle for our nation and identity is not bound in time, to be remembered on certain unforgettable and blood-soaked dates, but a daily reality for every Armenian. The words fell on silent souls, demanding that the dream of this exemplary man, where Armenians live on their soil as Armenians proud of who they are, is never forgotten. The crowds were dense and the children crowded the beautiful makeshift pyre of flowers and candles, a bright spot gently providing consolation and comfort to aching hearts broken by cruel hands and gunpowder. And so we sang, starting with “Tajan Grvum” and crossing into a rich repertoire, mournful voices refusing to let the memory of a paragon fade into oblivion.

His dream will live on, the young boys and girls crowded before the town hall testament to that pledge.

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