Let’s face facts.
Turkey and Azerbaijan threaten the Armenian nation’s survival.
That’s our reality. Now and for the foreseeable future.
Ankara and Baku seek to conquer Artsakh because they want to crush Armenia.
They work to destroy our Diaspora because they want to defeat our homeland.
Who strive mightily to erase our past because they want, ultimately, to deny us our future.
Azerbaijan’s merciless hammer strikes upon Ankara’s neo-Ottoman anvil fall hardest on those young souls protecting our Armenian homeland – devastating the families of those lost or injured, but—make no mistake—these attacks are against all of us.
They target each and every Armenian. Our very existence. Our place on this planet.
Me and you. Our sisters and brothers. The young and old.
From all parties and every political point of view.
From all corners of the earth—from Armenia, Artsakh, and Javakhk to the Americas, Europe, Russia, and the Middle East. No exceptions.
Just like 1915. Just like 1988.
Theirs is a modern, multi-billion dollar campaign to finish the work of the genocide.
Their weapons have changed, but not their aims. They seek–as did those who held the reins of power before them:
To capture Artsakh;
To empty our homeland;
And to destroy our Diaspora.
They have vast resources, and they are not holding any in reserve.
We don’t have their government revenues or oil dollars, but we do have something more powerful:
And our will.
We are each an ambassador for our nation.
We are—every man, woman, and child—a soldier for our cause.
Together, as a diaspora, we represent a second army of the Armenian nation—an unmatched international legion—protecting our homeland, preserving our heritage, and advancing our rights.
An army of identity, of ideas, of inspiration.
As citizen soldiers, we are not called upon the make the sacrifices of those brave sentinels who stand guard today along the frontiers of Armenian freedom
But the enemies we face are just as powerful. The stakes of our struggle just as high.
This is our generation’s Avarayr. Our Sardarabad. Our Shushi.
Khrimian Hayrik, in honoring St. Vartan, wrote: “You perished, and Armenia arose.”
So too is it for each of us.
All of us Vartans, struggling upon our own Vaspurakan, striving, searching, and sacrificing for a better tomorrow. Not for only ourselves, but for all our brothers and sisters.
Not simply for today, but for all our tomorrows.
That is the price of Armenia’s survival.
For, as Mer Hayrenik teaches us, “death is the same everywhere; A man dies but once; but blessed is he who gives his life for the freedom of his nation.”
So much has changed, but that simple truth has not.
Our nation calls to us today, as she has so often through the centuries.
The words of Charents echo in our hearts:
“Ov hai joghovurd, ko miak prkootyune ko havakakan uji mej eh…”
“Oh! Armenian people, your salvation lies only in your collective power…”
The songs of our youth still stirs our souls:
“Zartir Lao, mrnim kzi.”
“Awake, my son, I would die for you.”
A mother awakening her son for battle, just as our mother, Mayr Hairenik, tearfully summons us, her children, to her defense.
Let us rally to the call of our nation.
Let us rise together to the challenge of our age.
Let us unite, and show our strength.
Working with and for and through the Hai Tahd movement, as the proud sons and daughters of one Armenian Nation—one Armenian Cause—we will, as we must, defend the Armenian people in this hour of danger.
It is the devotion we owe to our past.
The determination we owe to our future.
And the debt we owe to ourselves.
Aram Hamparian is the Executive Director of the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).