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A solemn week as we bury our heroes and remember

Charles Aznavour

In my article next week, I will discuss Russia’s brutal and opportunistic lesson in the Caucasus. Russia’s betrayal of Armenia, her ally, is consistent with what Russia did in Georgia and Ukraine. I will also explore why the EU left Armenia to fend for herself against Azerbaijan, Turkey, Pakistan, and mercenaries collected from Syria and Libya’s battlefields. 

Sadly, Russia and the rest of the world forcefully and diplomatically schooled two young republics. The alignment of the political and national interests suffocated the Armenian people yet again. Authority prevailed over democracy. Those who tout democracy in words but not in deeds need to be exposed and held accountable. I will do my part. 

Honor and Remember

This week I want to focus on and honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice to defend their land and their people. Artsakh is Armenian for 3,000 years, and she will always be. As I remember my dear military friends, killed in action, I played a song written and performed by none other than the iconic French-Armenian singer and songwriter Charles Aznavour. While the French version of the song seems more authentic to me, I decided to quote the English lyrics

“They fell”

The lyrics of “Ils sont tombés” “They fell” were written to commemorate the Armenian Genocide. Still, they seemed appropriate today, especially the words, “For no one heard their prayers in a world bent on pleasure from other people cares they simply closed their eyes. They create a lot of sound in jazz and right-time measure. The trumpets screamed till dawn to drown the children’s cries.” This time is replacing jazz’s discovery in 1915 Europe for the oil and the natural gas pipeline in 2020.

Charles Aznavour
Charles Aznavour at College Armenien Samuel Moorat

My life was profoundly affected by the generosity of this iconic singer and songwriter. His concert at one of the most prominent venues in Europe, L’Olympia, in Paris, raised more than a million Francs in 1972 to build the newest building on the campus of College Samuel Moorat in Sevres, France. Aznavour’s son Patrick was one of my elders at the boarding school we attended in Paris’ outer skirts. I knew them both. In this old picture with Aznavour, I am seated with my school mates in the second row of tables. I was 12.

Aznavour’s pride and philanthropy is well documented in Armenia and Artsakh. He loved them both. It is only appropriate that we remember our heroes through his song.

“They fell that year
They vanished from the earth
Never knowing the cause
Or what laws they’d offended
The women fell as well
And the babies they tendered
Left to die, left to cry
All condemned by their birth

They fell like rain
Across the thirsty land
In their heart, they were slain
In their God, still believing
All their pity and pain
In that season of grieving
All in vain, all in vain
Just for one helping hand

For no one heard their prayers
In a world bent on pleasure
From other people cares
They simply closed their eyes
They create a lot of sound
In jazz and right-time measure
The trumpets screamed till dawn
To drown the children’s cries

They fell like leaves
Hit people its prime
Simple man, kindly man
And not one knew his crime
They became in that hour
Like the small desert flower
Soon covered by the silent wind
In sands of time

They fell that year
Before a cruel foe
They had little to give
But their lives and their passion
And their longing to live
In their way
In their fashion
So their harvest could thrive
And their children could grow

They fell like flies
Their eyes still full of sound
Like a dove in its flight
In the path of a rifle
That falls down where it might
As if death were a trifle
And to bring to an end
A life barely begun

And I am of that race
Who died in unknown places
Who perished in their pride
Whose blood in rivers ran
In agony and flight
With courage on their faces
They went into the night
That waits for every man

They fell like tears
And never knew what for
In that summer of strife
Of massacre and war
Their only crime was life
Their only guilt was being
The children of Armenia
Nothing less, nothing more.”