Vanik Hayrapetyan was the father of three boys and dreamed of having a daughter. The dream came true, but the days of happiness, or rather the hours, were short-lived. Vanik’s daughter Ariana was born on September 11. Eight days later, the September 19 war began. The father saw his daughter only for two days.

Vanik Hayrapetyan was the commander of the Chartar, with the rank of senior lieutenant, almost always in positions. On the day of the war, he had to come home.

“On the morning of the 19th of the month, I wrote a message asking why he was not coming home. He didn’t answer. Our last meeting was on the 18th of the month, and I haven’t seen him since then. I sent the picture of the child. He looked at it, but did not answer. I wrote, “Vanik, why don’t you come? Time was passing, there was no answer,” his wife, Donara Grigoryan, shares her memories of the end of her life with her husband.

Vanik Hayrapetyan assured the family that he will be at the headquarters located at the House of Culture of Chartar, said not to be afraid, and left. After some time, Donara sent her son to that area to find out how his father was doing. “Aren came and said, mom, everyone is there, but he is not there. We knew that he would not stay near the House of Culture, he would not hide like others, as he did not hide during the 44-day war.”

After that, Vanik’s mother, Sirvard Hayrapetyan, went to the House of Culture to get information from her only son. “I went and asked my friends if there was any news from Vanik. They all turned their faces away. I knew at that moment that my child was gone…” the mother told

The woman says that her husband was at the gates of Chartar, guarded the entrance to the city, and was killed on the 20th of the month, a few minutes before the ceasefire.

“He saw that three boys were standing together in front of the ditch, he said: ‘Didn’t I tell you not to stand in groups?’. He came out of the ditch to tell them to disperse, at that moment a drone hit the three boys, and he and the others were killed too.”

“For us, time stopped from that moment, everything went dark, nothing existed,” says the woman.

Vanik Hayrapetyan was 38 years old. He has been in the military for the last 20 years, participated in all wars. He received many medals for his services to the motherland, which the family could not bring because the enemy would take them and destroy them on the way. They managed to bring only a handful of soil from Vanik’s grave.

“If we had known, we would have brought him with us, we would not have buried him. We buried him on the 23rd of the month and left on the 27th of the month. We left him, we came here. Now we desperately want to bring him. We brought a handful of soil [from his grave] with us, we hope to get a place to bury it, so that we at least have a place to go to,” says the woman, and the mother adds that she did not manage to visit her son’s grave after being forced to leave Chartar.

“They kept him in Martuni for three days; there was no refrigerator. They said, ‘Let’s bring him on the evening of the 22nd and bury.’ They wanted to bury him at night, many were buried at night, because the condition of the bodies had deteriorated, they could not be kept. At 11 in the morning, they brought my Vanik, opened his face for three minutes and took him away. I went to the graves the next day and then I couldn’t go, we were supposed to do the seventh day, but we were told to get together to get out, and I didn’t even manage to visit his grave,” says the grieving mother.

Vanik’s family now has serious social problems, the main one of which is not having a home. A benevolent person rented an apartment for the family for six months, three of which have passed. Donara does not know where she will live with her four minor children after three months. “My husband was the only worker in our house, now that he is gone, we don’t know what we will do. What should I do with my baby, where should I leave it to go to work?” she says.

Narek Kirakoksyan

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