On the occasion of the 130th anniversary of his birth and 90th anniversary of his death
Armen S. Asryan
It is impossible to imagine the re-establishment of the independent statehood of the Armenians, the formation of the first Republic of Armenia without remembering and appraising the life and work of Aram Manukyan (1879-1919).
Aram Manukyan was devoted to the Armenian people, to the struggle for the re-establishment of its independent statehood and freedom. Aram Manukyan’s every act appeared to be politically mellow and prudent; he had a gift for organizing, an unselfish behavior, unbending will, optimism and a sense of responsibility towards the destiny of his nation.
Since his membership to the Armenian Revolutionary Federation in the 1890s, Aram Manukyan fought for the freedom of Armenians till the end of his life. He believed that Armenians, who had raised the flag of liberation against the yolk of Turkish oppression, must rely on their own power.
During the First World War, Aram tried to protect the Armenians of Van from Turkish brutality. In April, 1915, by collaborating with other political forces, Aram organized the selfdefense of Van. As a result, Van was saved from the massacres, which befell 1.5 million Armenians from other regions of Western Armenia.
The ideological, practical and consistent steps taken by Aram in 1918; his decisive orientation in the fatal days of May when the battle had turned in the Turks’ favor; his defense of Yerevan that brought a nation and its forces in despair to its senses from the horrific danger of a Turkish attack, not only guaranteed the existence of the Armenians nation but re-established an independent Armenian statehood.
We are obliged to Aram Manukyan for establishing the Republic of Armenia and it isn’t fortuitous that only he has been honored with the title of founder of the Republic.