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“COME BACK GLORIOUSLY ...”“The land was thirsty,” says Grandpa Haykaz, shoveling the riverbed. The water gurgles, wetting the cracked lips of the soil. And suddenly, over the years, a picture of a small garden buried in the green wakes up. My father dug the shovel into the ground and hung his white shirt on an apricot branch. The broad back is arrogant, he is tall, slender and beautiful. I am standing next to him, a 3-year-old, wearing a red robe.

“The soil drank, satiated, breathed. Dad, what will happen if we do not water the soil? – Look how much the land gives us: trees, flowers, a thousand kinds of fruits and vegetables. He gives and does not want anything in return. We build a house on the ground, we walk on the ground. The land is our relative. How can we not water the soil, baby… ”

“Where did your mind go?”

“I remembered my father”

Grandpa Haykaz sits under tall vines.

“Like trees,” I say.

Grandpa nods.

“When the Azerbaijanis start hitting, I think about this land, trees, bushes and flowers together with my relatives. Don’t they understand that we are not going to leaving this village? For us, the explosion of a shell and the barking of a dog are the same. We were born from this land, we will join this land.”

Grandpa bends down, puts his hardened hands on the ground.

“Well, they think young people will be scared. Eventually, one day they will get tired and leave the village. There are so many beautiful, peaceful corners in the world. The life is given once more.”

“Our root is in this soil, if we l break away from the root, we will dry up.”

“Aren’t young people afraid too?” I repeat as Grandpa searches for words.

“Did the young men fall from the sky? Are they a rootless plant? Aren’t they the birth of this land?” he shouts.


“Hayk, come here … Hayk is my grandson, he will go to the army in a couple of days. My eldest grandson, Karen, has just been demobilized. He entered the house with the sergeant’s shoulder straps on his military uniform.

Hayk is a tough guy, he has a sporty figure, and his will and determination are just dripping from his face. He stood with his eyebrows raised.

“She wants to know when Azeris throw shells at the village, aren’t the young people afraid?”

“Tell her that the young people have grown up under shelling since the day they were born, what should they be afraid of?”

“Are you ready to join the army?” I ask and realize my mistake. Everyone here is ready to serve in the army.


There is something in the air that does not allow to concentrate. Every tree, every bush rustles with its unique sound, joins the monotonous song of different birds and insects. Not far away, on the open-air balcony, the family gathered around the table. They drink coffee. One of them, a young man, approaches us with a cup in his hand. He turns to be the head of the Nerkin Karmiraghbyur village.

Then a woman in uniform approaches us. She is the founder of the Invincible Fortress NGO, Shushanik Melikbekyan.

“We organize military-patriotic events in schools, support the families of soldiers, relatives of the fallen heroes,” she says.

“COME BACK GLORIOUSLY ...”No boy in our village is inferior to Hayk. You have to raise good sons to have a future. It is not through preaching, it is through genes, with breast milk your grandparents’ courage, philanthropy, worship of the homeland …

“Anyway, what advice would you give when sending Hayk to the army? The most important …”

“None: He knows that the strength of the border comes from the strength of every soldier. He knows that his strength is not enough at the border, he must strengthen his comrade-in-arms.”

“How will it strengthen?”

“Being a brother … And before sending my son to the army, I will say, return in glory.”

… Everyone goes to work. Grandpa Haykaz and I stay.



Category: #30 (1350) 29.07.2020 - 04.08.2020, National army, Spotlight