Who were The 5 Armenian Heroes of Lisbon
On the morning of July 27, 1983, Five Armenian heroes from Lebanon, members of the Armenian Revolutionary Army, headed to the Turkish Embassy in Lisbon Portugal, they had plans to take over the Embassy, have the ambassador hostage, put some pressure on the Turkish Government for Genocide recognition, and to tell the world that the spirit of Vartan Mamigonian, Soghomon Tehlirian, and others still lives in the hearts of Armenians.
They had witnessed years of war in Lebanon, where their relatives and friends defended their regions and streets in order not to go through another deportation or not to let war collapse what they had built after arriving onto Lebanese soil following the Genocide and deportations.
But this war was a war of brother against brother, Lebanese against Lebanese, and to Armenians, it caused a great deal of heartache, because they wanted to live peacefully and prosper. And now as Lebanese Armenians, they were witnessing The Lebanese burn their own Land. Armenians didn’t interfere in the war, instead, they played a very important peacekeeping role between their fellow Lebanese. Armenian heroes in Lebanon defended their neighborhoods.
Meanwhile, Armenia, was still under the USSR rule, and the Armenian spirit was almost prohibited, people had long forgotten about Genocide, or at least couldn’t speak of it, because it could’ve contradicted the USSR Policies.
Simon Yahniyan: ‘I am proud to be born an Armenian because i will die an Armenian. I am glad about this Act. The life we live in now is nothing but real life. We live under the Rule of others we have become poppet of others…”
Ara Kurkulian: “I ask my friends who have grown up with me, in the same environment, and who have attended the same places together, done the same things together, to be convinced of this one thing, and not say, family, life, and future. Without our motherland, and soil, there is no future, no life and there could be no Family…”
Vatche Daghlian: “We are a Nation, an old one, and it’s our right like other nations to live on our own soil, we want to see our nation living peacefully, living in tranquility, in our own land, worried only about our own nation and upbringing the future generation…”
Setrag Ajemian: “I would like to tell to the youth never to startle, no matter how stronger Turks are with their weapons and diplomacy… we are not the first to walk this way, so many have walked it before us, and I hope that much better people will come and do much better work than us…”
Sarkis Aprahamian: “As the song says <> Yes!! We are Crazy, but figurative “Crazy”… Join us, I believe we will be the masters of our country…”
“We have decided to blow up this building and remain under the collapse. This is not suicide, nor an expression of insanity, but rather our sacrifice to the altar of freedom.” The group said the attack had been carried out because “Turkey and its allies refused to acknowledge the Genocide of Armenians”. A type-written message signed by the Armenian Revolutionary Army delivered to The Associated Press.
Ara Kurjulian, Sarkis Aprahamian, Setrak Ajemian, Simon Yahniyan, and Vatche Daghlian sacrificed their lives for freedom, to the God of Justice, they didn’t want to call their act a suicide. They wanted to deliver a message to the world. They ended their lives under the ruins of the Turkish embassy in Lisbon Portugal, before turning their guns against the local police.
5 Armenian Heroes who left behind their life, their families, and their future. They had this deep pain in their hearts, they never forgot the Genocide, and they wanted the future generations to have their own freedom and took it on their shoulder to shout to the world and to remind them of our demands and rights. And they inspired generations to fight for Artsakh and do better.
We have to acknowledge their sacrifice and continue existing and passing the torch from generation to generation.
“… we have planned this act, because 60 years after the Genocide we have come to the conclusion that neither Europe nor others, who even if they talk about peace, they don’t practice it… In the 1st Genocide of the 20th Century, the Turks exterminated one million and a half Armenians and deported us from our lands. Today they are trying to show the opposite. Armenians have not been exterminated, but Turks… It is us who have been deported from our Lands…” Vatche Daghlian.
On 27 July of each year lets remember our Armenian Heroes the Lisbon 5 and say a little prayer for them.