Wednesday, 26 September 2018

E Editorial

Heroes are those who gave their lives for others

The question of depriving the person of the hero status was actualized in connection with the scandal around the Lieutenant-General Manvel Grigoryan, Hero of Artsakh awarded with the Medal of the Golden Eagle. A group of citizens in Yerevan held a protest action before the permanent representation of Artsakh Republic with a similar demand. The same demand was put forward by a group of young people in the city of Hadrut (where Manvel Grigoryan's detachment was deployed during the war years). In both cases, citizens justify their demand by saying that the title and image of the hero is more than recognition of military merit - the heroes are an example for educating the younger generation, and Grigoryan defiled the image of the hero. Nevertheless, the press secretary of the President of Artsakh stated that he does not know whether such procedure exists or not, because it is already in the legal sphere. According to him, there are no cases of those who were deprived of this title. The question of the appropriateness of depriving Manvel Grigoryan of the title of Hero of Artsakh is inappropriate, since there is no corresponding court decision of his guilt.

As we see, the approach to the problem is completely different. The question arises: what should be the guilt proved by the court to deprive the title of the hero of the person who received the medal for merits some twenty years ago? The answer is also quite logical: one can be deprived if one does not deserve the award, and the award was given him illegally. If the court reveals and proves such guilt, the latter can be deprived of the title of hero. No other circumstances, even crimes committed after the war, can be the basis for such a decision. Nevertheless, with this approach, the problem will remain unresolved: what then is the meaning of the heroization of people, who with their lives are capable of discrediting the image of the hero? It remains only to admit that the combat merit is not sufficient for the heroization of the author of such merit. And to be more specific, we must radically reconsider the approach to awarding titles to the war heroes. There is no other way out: after all, any evaluation of military merit and any decision to award a hero's reward was once made and taken subjectively. The fact of wide distrust of the society to the authorities that made such decisions is more than enough.

What are we dealing with today in connection with General Manvel Grigoryan? At first glance - with accusations of crimes that have taken place at the present time. Here the general is threatened with heavy punishment, but not deprivation of the title of hero. But is the history of the military merits of Manvel Grigoryan and the decisions taken to award him the title of general and the Medal of the Hero of Artsakh irreproachable? Here the question remains open. And in this sense, this figure is not an isolated example. We have many questions since the first case of awarding the Medal of the Battle Eagle and the title of Hero of Artsakh. It is still not clear which of the presidents of Artsakh has appropriated this title to Samvel Babayan. Everyone knows that in the post-war years, this figure, no less than Manvel Grigoryan, defamed the image of the hero. The titles of the Hero of Artsakh are given to Robert Kocharian, Serzh Sargsyan, Arkady Ghoukassian, Samvel Karapetyan and others. Who and on what scale of assessments made decisions on such awards?

There are a lot of questions, but much is completely transparent even without trial. From time immemorial it is known that during the war some go on self-sacrifice - others, on self-assertion and use of this war for their own purposes. It is also known that after any war, there is a usurpation of the glory of the heroes of the war by corrupt officials. So, often we are dealing with precisely these phenomena, discrediting the glory of the true heroes of the war. In any case, it would be correct to root in the state life the principle of awarding the titles of the hero of the war only to those who committed combat feats and gave their lives for others. That is - posthumously. There are other high rewards for those who performed combat feats, but by the will of fate survived. The heroes of Artsakh who received the award could now voluntarily give up their high rank. Thus, they would show a worthy attitude to the younger generation, leaving no room for any doubts about the true heroes.

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