Mr. Speaker, the first Republic of Armenia was established 100 years ago.
Its emergence on May 28, 1918, provided hope to thousands of refugees and a home to the Armenian people in the wake of the Armenian genocide. For the first time since 1375, the Armenian people could lay claim to a country of their own.
Only two years after its founding in 1918, Armenia was invaded by the Soviet Union, leaving its people, who had so recently achieved their freedom, once again without their own nation. With the collapse of the Soviet Union in September 1991, Armenia regained its independence and remains free to this day.
This year, during the month of May, Canadians of Armenian background and communities around the world will celebrate this milestone and remember the sacrifices made by the Armenian people.