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Letter to Our Elders

Dear Elders,

You have done much for us and for the Armenian Nation. We thank you. But now, we must part.

You have experienced pain, as did your parents before you. You survived and transcended, although your minds were forever colored, as they would be, by the difficulties through which you traversed.

A comfortable life for you and your families was all you could have wanted, free of violence and poverty. You achieved that and more. For that, we are in your debt.

But the dark cloud of our recent past always hung near; the consequences of our seemingly continuous subjugation were not so easily erased.

The kernels of division implanted by our conquerors for their own devices blossomed. They will now be uprooted.

We are no different from each other than siblings of the same family and as with siblings, time and separation cannot wash away the bond that is permanent.

The faith our Nation has put in others for its salvation, betterment, and progress is but a residue from before a time when we had come to know better. A time when those conquerors had imposed not only themselves but the idea that they were our protectors and judges, benefactors and saviors. To summarize the words of Hayrig, Raffi, Siamanto, and Nzhdeh: No.

Our faith is in each other and we will not be condemned to a future we ourselves do not choose.

We will think differently than you because we must. We will hold dear the lessons of our forefathers that were lost in the sands of deserts, in the flames of churches, in prison cells, concentration camps, and on the battlefields of others – the lessons when they were alive as well as when they died. We will not forget the tragedies of our past but, with greater zeal, we will remember our victories. Indeed, we will create victories of our own by which to be remembered.

Hardship will be unable to strike hard enough to shake us from our path. Lamentation will fall silent before reaching our ears. Discouragement will subject to irrelevance its purveyor. Fatalism will find no quarter in our minds. Timidity will be forgotten.

Because we have this luxury that you gained for us, we will have greater hope and we will set insurmountable goals for the sport of surmounting them.

Our Nation survived on your shoulders. It will be made strong on ours.

Now we must say goodbye.

Let us be. We will make you proud.

With Love,

Your Sons and Daughters

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