Armenian heroes, or national heroes of Armenia are the pride of the nation. These are the people who fought for Armenian causes in different periods of history. Now they inspire new generations to make their fatherland prosper!
Are you thinking of Batman, Spiderman or Iron Man when you’re asked about heroes? Give up on them guys! They fight evil, of course, but they are not real. Now meet real Armenian heroes of all times.
The list of their names includes military figures, philanthropists, artists and priests. These people fought for Armenia’s independence, contributed to its welfare and made Armenia known to the world.
We present top Armenian heroes, both historical and modern ones. Some of them are the recipients of “National Hero of Armenia” medal.
Today it is the highest title in Armenia and is awarded for outstanding services to fatherland. Our list includes people who have the title of the “National Hero of Armenia” and also those who don’t hold it, but definitely deserve one.
Armenian Heroes #1 | Mesrop Mashtots – The Inventor of Armenian Alphabet
After the collapse of the Armenian Kingdom in the 5th century, other nations invaded the country. So, it’s acknowledged that without the “identity card” such as the unique Armenian alphabet, it would have been much easier for Armenians, under powerful kingdoms, to be assimilated.
Natives of Armenian Highlands spoke Armenian, but they wrote in Greek, Aramaic, etc. Right amid of this chaos a man was born in the village of Hatsekats, Armenia (modern-day Mush, Turkey) and changed the future of the Armenian language and literature.
The importance of Mashtots and creation of Armenian alphabet can never be underestimated. It was the key that allowed Armenians to preserve their culture and identity. This has lent them exceptional longevity unlike other ancient nations that disappeared through centuries.
So, Mashtots is one of the most significant names in the history of Armenia.
Armenian Heroes #2 | Komitas – The Composer Who Speaks from the Soul of the Nation
Armenian heroes are not only those who protect their homeland with weapons in their hands. Those who try to save Armenian culture are also heroes.
They show the same courage and devotion as any military figure. Komitas Vardapet was one of the fighters for national identity. He was a pioneer of ethnomusicology.
This folk hero was born in 1869 in Kuthaya (present Turkey) as Soghomon Soghomonian. His work in recording Armenian songs and composing others made him one of the most well-known names within Armenia and beyond its borders.
Like other Armenian intellectuals, Komitas was sent to death march during Armenian Genocide of 1915. Due to the intervention of some people he was set free later. Though the massacres of his nation drove him to madness.
He spent his last years in an insane asylum. It is very hard to exaggerate Komitas’s influence in the revival of Armenian folk music. His selfless devotion to motherland contributed to the preservation of cultural identity and took Armenian music to another level.
Armenian Heroes #3 | Garegin Nzhdeh – The Commander and Philosopher
The beginning of the 20th century was the heyday of Armenian liberation movement. The planned massacres of Armenians and mass deportations from historical homeland made the peaceful nation take weapons.
He was born in 1886 in Nakhchivan. His military skills helped Armenians to drive Turks out of the Syunik region and put his name among the names of Armenian heroes of all times.
This is how the Bolsheviks, Turks and the commander collided. After coming to Armenia, Bolsheviks wanted to give Syunik and Artsakh (Karabakh) to Azerbaijan.
Nzhdeh fought against that decision an secured the independence of Syunik as an Armenian land. Later it became part of Soviet Armenia and, eventually, part of independent Armenia.
Nzhdeh was a real patriot. Being afraid of such devotion to his nation, Soviet government imprisoned him. The commander died in prison.
This outstanding man went down to the history as an author and a thinker as well. His works shaped national ideology.
Armenian Heroes #4 | Andranik Ozanian – The Famed Freedom Fighter
Andranik Ozanian or General Andranik is one of Armenian heroes exalted by Armenians around the world. He really deserves it.
In November of the same year, with 30 other fedayees (armed men who are ready to scarify themselves for homeland), Andranik came down from the mountains and barricaded in the Holy Apostles’ church.
Cold weather and epidemics brought huge losses to Turkish troops. Nineteen days later General Andranik arranged the escape of his group. His small group went back to nearby mountains safe and sound. In other words, they managed to avoid clashing with five Turkish battalions comprising 1200 men.
Besides being a devoted freedom fighter, Andranik also did everything for Genocide survivors. He visited the US in 1919. In America, he was able to raise $500,000 for Armenian refugees. It equals to $7 million in today’s currency.
This is why Andranik Ozanian is a national hero.
Armenian Heroes #5 | Alex Manoogian – Philanthropist, Inventor and Businessman
Hard work is the main way to achieve success. Everyone knows it but not everybody turns words into action. However, Alex Manoogian did.
This successful businessman, inventor and philanthropist was born in Izmir in 1901. He fled Ottoman Turkey during the Genocide and reached US. It was there that he turned his American dream into reality.
Manoogian contributed especially to the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU). He established the AGBU Alex and Marie Manoogian Cultural Fund in 1968. The fund is devoted to the publication and translation of Armenian scholarly and literary works, and Armenian cultural materials all over the world.
Armenian Heroes #6 | Kirk Kerkorian – The Man Who Shaped Las Vegas
Casino mogul, investor and philanthropist, Kirk Kerkorian was born in Fresno to the immigrant father and mother. Kerkorian earned his first money as a pilot during WWII. Then he started his way to fame.
Owning tangible shares in Ford Motor Company and Chrysler, Kerkorian was involved in the car industry as well. He was the 41st richest person in the world during his lifetime.
Through Lincy foundation, one of the Armenian heroes, Kirk Kerkorian covered half of the cost of the highway connecting Armenia an Artsakh.
Soon Lincy financed $200 million worth infrastructure projects in Armenia and contributed $60 million to the renovation of streets and schools in Armenia.
The movie “The Promise” was also one of the projects financed by Kirk Kerkorian.
Armenian Heroes #7 | Victor Hambardzumyan – One of the Founders of Theoretical Astrophysics
One of the most powerful scientists of his time was born in Tbilisi in 1908. He was interested in mathematics since early ages. Hambardzumyan left for St. Petersburg to study.
He was also the professor of Benjamin Markaryan. Now you may think who he is! The outstanding student of equally outstanding professor later discovered the eponymous Markaryan Galaxies.
Armenian Heroes #8 | Charles Aznavour – The Master of Chanson
Armenians are everywhere. You can’t find a country which has no famous Armenian. The French representative is the greatest singer, actor and humanitarian, Charles Aznavour.
Like other Armenian heroes, he was also awarded with the medal. He deserves it. No doubt! Aznavour was born in Paris. Of course, he was not born as a star.
His talent was discovered by no one else but another famous French singer, Edith Piaf. Soon Charles touched the hearts of whimsy French people and here his stardom started.
He achieved a worldwide success with his songs of chanson genre. His amazing songs are being played for already 60 years.
Still Aznavour never forgets his homeland. He visits Armenia quite often and does everything to contribute to its welfare.
Armenian Heroes #9 | Monte Melkonian – The Commander of Artsakh War
Monte Melkonian, better known as Avo, is one of the most famous Armenian heroes, due to his contribution to Artsakh war against Azabaijan.
Born in America, in 1957, Monte knew nothing about Armenia and didn’t even speak Armenian. But he was destined to be part of the Armenian history.
Due to his military skills, he was aware that Artsakh could never be lost. Soon he became a commander. Monte was also well known for his just, but strict character.
His mates remember that he never smoked or drinked. Neither were his soldiers allowed to do such things. Monte Melkonian was killed in 1993 by the enemy and is buried in Yerablur. By the way, he spoke seven languages.
Armenian Heroes #10 | His Holiness Vazgen I
Through 17 centuries of its existence, Armenian church has always tried to keep Armenians in unity. There were some great Catholicoi in Armenian history that saved the country during war time and fought with soldiers side by side.
His Holiness Vazgean I was the Catholicos of All Armenians between 1955 and 1994. Even after his death everybody remembers him with great love and respect.
In token of gratitude, this great man was honored as a National Hero of Armenia. By the way, he was the first man to receive that medal.
Other Related Articles of Armenian Heroes | The List of 10 Names Who Are Considered The Greatest Sons of The Armenian Nation
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- Garegin Njdeh (Garegin Nzhdeh), His Quotes Are Powerful and Several Movies Featured Him
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