In the second half of Sunday, the military pantheon Yerablur is crowded. Mothers, fathers, children, wives and friends visited the boys who gave their lives for the motherland.

Lieutenant Hayk Gyurjyan’s mother brought fresh flowers to her son’s grave like every day. “My homeland is here. I have no other place; this is my homeland,” says the mother and arranges the flowers one by one.

Taguhi Beknazaryan lost her only son in the war. Hayk was 26 years old at that time. Lieutenant Gjurjyan served in the military unit of Nerkin Horatagh. “Their battalion struck the enemy well. Then, by order of the command, they were taken near Talish, to a deserted place on a high hill. They didn’t even manage to settle down when the enemy hit them with everything. We did not have any news after that. It was a big hill, you can see it from everywhere: there are no stones, no trees,” says the mother and asks how they could take shelter to stay alive and protect the homeland when there were no infrastructures.

On the very first day of the war, on September 27, 2020, the connection between Hayk and his family was lost. The son called his mother and told her to move from Martakert to Stepanakaret and then never called again.

Taguhi Beknazaryan looked for her son everywhere — in hospitals and morgues. Until October 18, she visited all the medical institutions of Armenia and Artsakh where there were wounded servicemen.

“There is no place left that we didn’t go. I thought he was injured, unconscious, unable to call; they said there are many such wounded in Yerevan hospitals. I came and visited Yerevan hospitals and I saw that he was not there. One looked very much like hims; the parents couldn’t find that boy for a long time, I went to him every day. He had tattoos on his hand, Hayk didn’t have any, but he looked very much like Hayk,” she said.

The mother learned the first news about her son on March 1, 2021. On that day, the DNA test confirmed that Hayk’s body was identified with the samples from his relatives. “Only the bones remained. They sent it closed, but I forced them to open it to look at the mark under his foot. I opened it and looked but didn’t understand anything: nothing was like him,” says the mother who lost her only son. She added that if they took out her wounded son of the nearby hill sooner, he would at least be recognizable. “The Turk didn’t enter there for three days, but no one went to take them out, they were drained of blood. If they were taken out, I would know he was my son. Now, they brought two bones, the right hand was missing, the left one was one half, they say it is him. How it can be, I do not know? The face is missing,” says the mother.

After the war, Taguhi Beknazaryan moved to Yerevan, because her son is buried in Yerablur. “I didn’t have a house, I was living in someone else’s house: a bomb fell on it, we came here without a house. What should I do if I remained there when my Hayks is here?”

The mother said that her son was engaged and was supposed to get married.

Narek Kirakosyan

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