Sunday, November 25, 2001

The weather is great! For the last few days it has been in the upper 60�s f. Today, all of Artsakh has observed and celebrated the birthday of its most respected and loved hero, Monte �Avo� Melkonian. This year, the morning gathering of people in Martuni was larger than I�ve ever seen in the last 4 years. I can�t say it was the weather, because in the last 4 years, the weather has been warmer then it was today. As we were standing around talking, one person noticed the large turnout and said that it seems that over time, people have become even more acceptant of Monte, as his picture which hangs on many walls is still up, as appose to those �hero�s� that have been uncovered for who they really are and no longer have a place on our walls. Everyone seemed to agree. The usual government officials came from Stepanagert to participate in the laying of flowers at Monte�s statue. Children from the Monte Melkonian pre-school recited and sang about Monte. A musical ensemble preformed traditional Armenian music. In the evening as we do every year, the children of the house where I use to stay when my house was being constructed, came by and made dinner, baked a b-day cake and we celebrated Monte�s 44th birthday.

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