The Armenian Church paid homage to the troops on the occasion of the Feast of Saint Sarkis, the Armenian patron of youth and love revered as a martyr and military saint in the Armenian Apostolic Church.
Before the ceremony, a prayer and blessing for the troops took place at the Saint Sarkis Cathedral in Yerevan, the seat of the Araratian Pontifical Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church.
Pontifical Vicar Archbishop Navasard Kchoyan served a prayer for the fallen troops.
The awarding ceremony took place at the chambers of the diocesan seat after the prayer.
The archbishop said “national love” is what unites everyone at this sacramental moment. “The love which can be described with one idea – patriotism, fellowship and unanimity. Dear sons, you are the fearless protectors of our homeland, the bearers of that powerful spirit, and you serve your country and God with everyday devotion, you stand bravely and unwaveringly before the barbaric enemy. We are with you with our everyday prayers, with the many manifestations of our love and warmth of spirit. Always remember that an entire nation is encouraged by you every day, by your courage and unbreakable faith. We bow before your mothers, for giving birth to valorous men and the selfless devotion to the fatherland,” the Archbishop said.
At the ceremony, 20 of the finest active-duty servicemen were awarded with special awards and symbolic gifts of the diocese.
“This award means a lot to us and it obligates us to continue our mission of defending our homeland with honor, devotion and the strength of God,” said Edgar Mkhitaryan, one of the servicemen being honored at the ceremony.