May 9th – the Victory and Peace Day

Avarayr, Sardarapat, Kharakilisa, Bash-Aparan, Shoushi – it sometimes feels that all the victorious battles of Armenians took place in May.
If anything, the month of May makes me proud of being Armenian.
Better yet, the date of May 9th is the official Armenian holiday – the Victory and Peace Day. The day when the nation celebrates victory in the Great Patriotic War, where over five hundred thousand Armenians fought on the side of Soviet Army and in partisan groups in France and elsewhere in Europe, as well as part of the US Army. On the evening of May 8-th, 1945 the Nazi Germany capitulated. It had already turned May 9th in Moscow, so my Grandpa – tank unit commander, found out he can come home now… and live a happy life in Soviet Armenia, and than not so happy one in earthquake devastated Gyumri of the free, independent, war torn, poor Armenia. May 9th for me always remained the day of Grandpa – the day, when he would roam around the house looking for the medals – taken to most incredible places by naughty and younger grandchildren. Grandpa is no more, but his day remains…
Equally important, on May 9, 1992, liberation of Shushi marked a turning point in the Artsakh war. Ironically, the leaders of our people – who gave us this noble victory – Robert Kocharyan, Levon Ter-Petrossian, Serzh Sargsyan are among the most hated people today. Ironically, war heros – people like Zhirayr Sefilyan have found themselves jailed
or put in disgraceful conditions for their political views. Sadly it all makes sense, and this consequence takes the whole feeling of joy for the noble victory away from me.
Right! I was supposed to be happy and greet everyone on this great occasion of double victory day! So I will – congrats, everyone!

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