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PEACEFUL LAND, PEACEFUL HEART...Veteran of the Great Patriotic War Mekhak Avetisyan is the same age as the century; he will turn 100 in a few months.

We are in Sarukhan, in the Avetisyans’ hospitable house. He remembered the days of the war, thousands of memories awoke, stormed, upset his heart and mind. The veteran remembers episodes of the war days, without mixing numbers, sequences. The most powerful time has not erased the memories, they are engraved in the heart.

In 1940, I was drafted into the Soviet Army as a second year student of the Pedagogical Institute. I served in the battery of the 140th Artillery Regiment stationed in Lithuania, then we moved to Riga. On June 22, the war started … The attack was sudden, the Red Army units were retreating in defense, and destroying the enemy, setting everything on fire on the way, they were moving forward. Collapsed buildings, burned cities, churches, burned dreams and hopes, distorted destinies, countless human losses …, – the veteran presents the inhuman image of the war and continues: – We fought with vengeance, full of anger, liberating the occupied territories. My military unit kept the way Hitler tried to approach Moscow, but the enemy could not cross that section. We were fighting for the Soviet Union, we were fighting for Armenia, Yerevan, my Sarukhan. If fascism had won, its ally Turkey, which had concentrated more than twenty combat divisions near our border, would have razed Armenia to the ground.

Mekhak Avetisyan took part in the liberation of Novgorod, Velikie Luki, Opochka, Rzhev and many other settlements. In 1943, he was awarded the Medal for Combat Service near the city of Demyansk.

PEACEFUL LAND, PEACEFUL HEART...The soldier, who has traveled hundreds of kilometers from one end of the world to the other, dreamed every day that the war would end.

“We were still shooting when we learned that it was peace … There was no measure of joy, it was equal to a miracle, we survived, how many people died during that devastating world war …

But the roads would still take him from the Kurland Peninsula to the Sino-Mongolian border, where he was to take part in the war against Japan.

He only returned to his homeland in February 1946. Missed relatives, beloved girl, beautiful Victoria, who waited with loyal devotion, and the wedding was not late …

Life in post-war Armenia was gradually returning to normal, the country was gradually recovering.

Mekhak continued his part-time education, then worked as a teacher, school teacher, principal.

“There are so many famous people from Sarukhan – generals, colonels, doctors, professors, they were my students,” says the longtime pedagogue.

The veteran is talkative, cheerful, full of energy, even at this prestigious age he does not sit idly by, he keeps a bee, prunes a tree in the garden. Cut off excess branches and twigs to regulate tree fertility and growth. He writes a memoir about his life full of tides, and recently published a book, “Fragments from the Way of Life.”

We are interested, we want to know the secret of the grandfather’s longevity. “I have loved life very much, I have lived a simple life, my conscience is clear. I have done good deeds, I have not harmed anyone except the enemy. I am surrounded by warmth, care, I have good children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, a good bride, she felt like a child …

Our conversation goes back to the days of the Great Patriotic War. The honored pedagogue is not indifferent to the internal political developments, to the situation in the world.

PEACEFUL LAND, PEACEFUL HEART...“They do not allow the world to remain peaceful, a person to create with a peaceful heart, create, and enjoy what he has created with a peaceful heart. They are constantly provoking wars,” the veteran is upset. “1273 soldiers from Sarukhant fought in the Great Patriotic War, 420 did not return, there were families who lost three or four children in the war … We lost children in the Artsakh war, and in this devastating war.”

Every year on May 9, the grandfather always went up with veterans of the same age to lay flowers on the hill of the village, to bow to the monument of the Great Patriot, to bow down, this year on May 9 he will go to the village cemetery, small “Yerablur” …

“Now every town and village in Armenia has its Yerablur,” the grandfather’s voice grows louder, his eyes get wet. His great-grandson Hakob died in this war.

“My great-grandson took the military oath, I reached Martakert, the recruits in the churchyard took an oath to serve the homeland, and I also spoke, I was proud of our brave, eagle soldiers. The eagle boys fought heroically, many of the eagle boys are now in the sky … Hakob was my favorite grandson, smart, kind, attentive, devoted, hardworking. Before he died, my grandson and his friend had built a small church and presented it to his mother’s birthday … How many homes were deprived of their light, hope, and support, how many dreams remained unfulfilled …

The silence in the room is getting heavier … Everyone was with their excited thoughts.

“The Armenian soldier is not defeated, his spirit is invincible. I assure you as an old soldier,” the grandfather breaks the silence, ” it was an unfair fight, the forces were unequal.”

PEACEFUL LAND, PEACEFUL HEART...It is from the current situationThe old soldier points out a way out.

“All states have their geopolitical interests, we will only unite and rely on our own strength to straighten the backbone of the country. It is necessary for everyone’s narrow, selfish “self” to be transformed into “us”, whatever categories are created, whatever categories are established, there are no dividing lines, the experience of knowledgeable people is used, a healthy grain …

Before saying goodbye, we ask Grandpa what gift he will ask God for on his 100th birthday.

– Peaceful land, peaceful heart …



Category: #17 (1388) 5.05.2021 - 11.05.2021, Destinies, News, Spotlight