For more than two decades, a photo of Lyova Khachatryan, the father of a family killed in the Artsakh war, was posted at the Khachatryans’ house in the village of Sasunik, Aragatsotn region. After the 44-day war, a picture of Lyova’s youngest son, Hovik, was added to the same corner of the house.

Hovik Khachatryan, a 30-year-old contract soldier, was serving in Karvachar. He was killed by a projectile explosion thus never being able to withness his daughter’s birth. Hovik’s mother, Anna Khachatryan, is trying to come to terms with such a severe blow to her life, saying that maybe this was her destiny and God’s will. “Both my son and his father were brought up in a way that for them them, the homeland was the first, the family came in the second place. When his father died, my son was one year old,” says Mrs. Anna.

“My son was always proud of his father’s patriotism, friendliness, support to any person in difficult times… I learn only now how much Hovo helped everyone during the war. He served in the Armenian army in 2013, then he started serving as a contract soldier, then he was trained in the military academy after Vazgen Sargsyan and became a leitenant. Hovo got married in 2018. His wife was already pregnant at the beginning of the war. Because of the war he did not live up to happiness, the joy of fatherhood. As my son missed his parent, the same as it happening to his daughter now. I don’t know if it was a coincidence or destiny,” says the mother.

According to her, the only consolation for the family is the sound of a baby at home. Hovik’s daughter is nine months old. The family is waiting for her to grow up and hear stories about her father, to know who he was, what he was like and what he did for his family and homeland. Anna Khachatryan hopes that she and her daughter-in-law will be able to do everything possible for the baby to be fully loved and not feel the consequences of her father’s absence.

Hovik is buried in the Sasunik Pantheon next to his father. All the boys of the village who died as a result of the first Artsakh war and the 44-day war also rest in the same pantheon.

Ani Gevorgyan

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