Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan attended the opening ceremony of the monument to the memory of March 1 victims. It was opened in Yerevan, at the entrance of the Children’s Park adjacent to Grigor Lusavorich Street. The sculptor of the monument called “Influence and Counteraction” is Albert Vardanyan.
President Vahagn Khachaturyan, President of the National Assembly Alen Simonyan, Yerevan Mayor Hrachya Sargsyan, Deputy Mayor Tigran Avinyan, relatives of the victims also participated in the opening ceremony.
Nikol Pashinyan delivered a speech, in which he specifically stated:
“Honorable President of the Republic of Armenia,
Honorable President of the National Assembly,
Dear members of the families of the victims of March 1,
Today we commemorate the victims of March 1 and recall the March 1 and preceding events. I have emphasized before and now again I want to emphasize that March 1 is not a day of mourning at all. Of course, we mourn the victims, commemorate their memory, but in fact, March 1 has a much wider context and the symbolizm of the life and struggle of our brothers who died on March 1 is about something completely different. Immediately after the 2021 parliamentary elections, I had the opportunity to say on various platforms that it is the first time in the history of Armenia that the elections are not the cause of an internal political crisis, but a way to overcome the internal political crisis.
This is actually also my personal conclusion of the events of March 1, 2008, because, you know, I was personally very significantly involved in those events. And the consequence is that in reality, March 1, 2008 is about the lack or absence of democracy, it is about obstructing, breaking, deforming the free will of the people, depriving them of the opportunity to express themselves and make decisions. This is exactly how March 1 should be perceived. And at least in that regard, the struggle and sacrifices of March 1 have reached their destination, because today falsifying elections in the Republic of Armenia is already a closed chapter, to which there will be no return. And I want to say no government, no party, no authority is the guarantor of this, but its guarantor is the people of the Republic of Armenia, who have finally, during the 30 years of independence and statehood, adjusted and are adjusting their goals. And its destination is the vision of living a free, happy and creative life in an independent, sovereign, strong state.
I also want to emphasize that March 1 is about how we use the time that we have as a state, that we have as an independent country. March 1 and later also September 2020 essentially expressed the wasted times that we should have used to build a state, institutions, independence, sovereignty, prosperity and economy.
I want us to consider March 1 in this sense, because March 1 is not a cause, but a consequence. All our problems are not a cause, but a consequence, a consequence of our inaction somewhere, making too many compromises somewhere, showing too much tolerance to many phenomena. And this monument to March 1 should be a visible testimony to us of what we are busy with every day, what we are building for tomorrow, because today is today as a result of yesterday, tomorrow will be today again as consequence of yesterday. And so tomorrow is built today, every day each of us builds that tomorrow.
The example of the victims of March 1 and, in general, of all our brothers who fell for our independence and sovereignty, our civil rights, our democracy, should constantly force us to return to these questions: what are we doing, and what are we doing right, and what are we doing wrong, and where is it that we are sure that we perceive reality correctly, and where is it and to what extent are we sure that we know that reality, that environment, those conditions well, the processes that take place in us and around us?
Commemorating the memory of our brothers who died on March 1, I want to pay tribute of respect and humility to the citizen of the Republic of Armenia, to the citizens of the Republic of Armenia as a collective and to each one individually.
Commemorating the memory of our brothers who died on March 1, I want to show respect and bow in front of the citizen of the Republic of Armenia, the citizens of the Republic of Armenia as a collective unit and each one individually. Today, they are the guarantors of the statehood, sovereignty, independence and future of the Republic of Armenia. And we must do everything and will do everything to fulfil the dreams of our victims of March 1, our victims of the 44-day war, the victims of the September aggression, the first Artsakh war, of all our citizens who gave their lives for the homeland, for freedom, for legitimacy, for sovereignty. But we must also remember our goal. our ultimate goal is that we come to the logic of living for sovereignty, independence, democracy, rights and freedom, not by constantly dying, but by living with all that, developing and building our motherland, our state, because we have had enough victims, because our destination is the time to live, and this day symbolizes just that.
The Prime Minister laid flowers on the monument and honored the memory of the victims of March 1,