YEREVAN — Tens of thousands of people marched to the Tsitsernakabert memorial in Yerevan to commemorate the victims of the Armenian Genocide perpetrated by Turkey 109 years ago..

The daylong procession followed an official wreath-laying ceremony at the hilltop memorial led by President Vahagn Khachaturyan and Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, accompanied by Speaker of Parliament Alen Simonyan and other government officials, they visited the Tsitsernakaberd Memorial on April 24 to pay tribute to the memory of the victims of the Armenian Genocide.The President, Prime Minister and other officials laid flowers at the Eternal Flame.

Prime minster Pashinyan issued the following statement on the occasion:

Today we commemorate the memory of 1.5 million victims of the Armenian Genocide, the Meds Yeghern, who were put to the sword in the Ottoman Empire since 1915 for being Armenians.

This large-scale tragedy took place during the years of the World War I, and the Armenian people, who had no statehood, had lost their statehood centuries ago, and essentially had forgotten the tradition of statehood, became victims of geopolitical intrigues and false promises, lacking first of all a political mind capable of making the world and its rules understandable.

Meds Yeghern became a nationwide tragedy and grief for us, and without exaggeration, is a predetermining factor for our socio-psychology. Even today, we perceive the world, our environment, ourselves under the dominant influence of the mental trauma of the Meds Yeghern, and we have not overcome that trauma.

This means that, being an internationally recognized state, we often relate and compete with other countries and the international community in a state of mental trauma, and for this reason, sometimes we cannot correctly distinguish the realities and factors, historical processes and projected horizons.

Maybe this is also the reason why we get new shocks, reliving the trauma of the Armenian Genocide as a legacy and as a tradition.

In this sense, I consider the internal Armenisation of the Meds Yeghern extremely important. When talking about the Armenian Genocide, the Meds Yeghern, we always cite the outside world, talk to the outside world, but our internal conversation never takes place on this topic.

What should we do and what should we not do in order to overcome the trauma of genocide and exclude it as a threat? These are questions that should be the key subject of discussion in our political and philosophical thinking, but this kind of point of view of dealing with the fact of the Meds Yeghern is not common among us.

This is an imperative, an urgent imperative, and we must evaluate the relations between the Meds Yeghern and the First Republic of Armenia, we must relate the perception of the Meds Yeghern with the vital interests of the Republic of Armenia, our national statehood.

Meds Yeghern, deprivation of homeland is not a verdict for us, which we have to bear as a continuous search for a lost homeland. We must stop the searches of a homeland, because we have found that homeland, our Promised Land, where milk and honey flow. For us, the commemoration of the martyrs of the Meds Yeghern should not symbolize the lost homeland, but the found and real homeland, in the person of the Republic of Armenia, whose competitive, legitimate, thoughtful and creative policies can exclude a repetition.

Never again. We should not say this to others, but to ourselves. And this is not an accusation against us at all, but a point of view where we, only we, are responsible and the director of our destiny and we are obliged to have enough mind, will, depth and knowledge to carry that responsibility in the domain of our sovereign decisions and perceptions.

May the martyrs of Meds Yeghern and all our other martyrs be consoled in their permanent sleep by the Republic of Armenia.

And long live the Republic of Armenia.

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