YEREVAN — The three pilots of the downed helicopter were laid to rest at Yerablur Military Pantheon with full military honors attended by top military officials and hundreds of ordinary people.
Thousands of other Armenians filed past the remains of Major Sergey Sahakian, 38, Senior Lieutenant Sargis Nazarian, 25, and Lieutenant Azat Sahakian, 22, placed in closed coffins inside a Yerevan church on Monday. Catholicos Garegin II, the supreme head of the Armenian Apostolic Church, led a requiem service there in the presence of President Serzh Sarkisian and other Armenian leaders.
“We are proud of having such soldiers,” Defense Minister Seyran Ohanian said in a speech delivered at Yerevan’s Yerablur military cemetery during the funeral. “Eternal glory to the heroes, to the Armenian army guaranteeing our security!” he added.
“We’re determined to return all those who fell on the path to Armenia’s freedom and November 22 became the proof of this resoluteness. Bowing before the memory of our fallen pilots, we at the same time express gratitude to the participants of the special operation to retrieve their bodies. The death of Major Sergey Sahakyan, Lieutenant Sargis Nazaryan and Lieutenant Azat Sahakyan was yet another demonstration of the illogical and irresponsible policy of the adversary,” Minister Ohanian stated.
The commander of Karabakh Defense army, General Movses Hakobian, also attended the funeral. Hakobian gave relatives of the three officers medals that were posthumously awarded to them by Bako Sahakian, the Karabakh president.