In the annals of Armenian history, our nation has seen glories and tragedies, conquests and losses. Today, our hearts grieve for the fall of Artsakh, for the suffering, genocide, and forced deportations of our brothers and sisters. Yet, in this dark hour, let us turn our eyes to a beacon of hope from our past—the Cathedral of Zvartnots.
Zvartnots, more than any other structure, captures the essence of the Armenian spirit. Its grandeur and beauty symbolized the very soul of Armenia. Though it fell to ruins, its dream never perished. Like the Armenian spirit, its essence persisted. Over centuries, our people tried recreating its majesty in other parts of our homeland. We see its influence in the Mastara Church, the Talin Cathedral, the Bagavan Church, and the Yererouk Basilica. Each structure carried with it the spirit and aspiration of Zvartnots. Yet, many faced a fate like Zvartnots itself, succumbing to the sands of time and the onslaughts of history.
However, the dream of Zvartnots did not fade. In the 20th century, the soul of Zvartnots was reborn in the Opera house designed by Alexander Tamanian, in the very silhouette of the Zvartnots International Airport that welcomes visitors to our motherland, and in the neighborhood outside Etchmiadzin that bears its name. It is even whispered in the name of our daughters, “Zvart”, encapsulating hope, beauty, and resilience.
What does this tell us about our nation? It speaks of an indomitable spirit that refuses to be subdued. Our legacy is not just in the stone structures we build, but in the tenacity of our soul that rises from every defeat, every loss, and every heartbreak.
The wounds from the loss of Artsakh are deep, and the cries of those who lost their loved ones echo in our hearts. The uncertainty faced by the 120,000 refugees weighs heavily upon our collective conscience. But if the lesson of Zvartnots teaches us anything, it is that our spirit, our essence, is unbreakable.
The journey towards healing is long, and the path uncertain. The pain we feel today, the anguish that engulfs us, may seem insurmountable. But let us remember that our history is punctuated with resurrections. Every ruin has a rebirth, every sunset is followed by a dawn, and every tear carries with it the promise of joy.
God’s hand has been with our nation throughout our tumultuous journey. We are a testament to His grace, His mercy, and His unyielding love. With Him by our side, we will find healing. With Him guiding us, our spirit will once again rise, rebuild, and resurrect.
The shadows of the past and the challenges of the present may threaten to overwhelm us. But let the lesson of Zvartnots be our guiding star. For in its story, we see the reflection of our own—of strength, resilience, rebirth, and an undying hope.
In these trying times, let us cling to our faith, to our God, and to the undying spirit of Armenia. For as long as we breathe, the dream of Artsakh will never die.