The Հայ Կամաւոր, the “Armenian volunteer,” is a figure rightfully revered through the annals of Armenian history and celebrated in our national songs and literature.
Whether on the plains of Avarayr, the shores of Lake Van, the juggernaut of Sardarabad or the cliffs of Shushi, the indelible spirit of the Armenian volunteer has been one of true service—service not for the sake of being liked, rewarded or acknowledged but an unshakable commitment to the idea that our people’s way of life, our culture, our faith and our right to live together as a community on our ancestral lands is a fundamental right worth risking life and treasure, even against seemingly insurmountable odds.
It is this spirit of the Armenian volunteer that propels members of the Armenian Bar Association from every segment of Armenian community and life to carry out the good work of Armenian Bar. Whether it is providing scholarships to worthy students who have demonstrated service to the community or the establishment of a pro bono legal clinic in Stepanakert or our singular voice advocating for basic due process of an accused in Armenia, the work of the Armenian Bar Association is accomplished by nothing less than the committed, tireless efforts of our volunteer attorneys, professors, judges and law students. These are volunteers who fiercely believe in defending the rights of Armenians everywhere and in taking those meaningful steps that will assist Armenia and Artsakh in developing a civil society governed by the rule of law in order to enhance the strength of our nation and people.
In fact, it is this very spirit that draws the Armenian Bar Association to Armenia and to Artsakh this May 2018. There, we will gather to remember and celebrate, with our brothers and sisters, the victories and heroism of the Armenian Volunteer, at an Annual Meeting that promises to again imprint the work of this Association into the history of our people.
To be clear, it is this volunteer spirit that has been building tremendous momentum for our organization in the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut region where our members are holding joint events with sister Armenian organizations such as the Armenians In Banking and Finance. It is this volunteer spirit that has motivated our organization to create a Young Lawyers Committee dedicated to serving the needs of the hundreds of young Armenian members of the bar across the nation so that they, too, can thrive and professionally develop and, in turn, leverage their own knowledge and expertise to serve the needs of our community for decades to come.
And it is this Armenian volunteer spirit that enabled our members to assemble with over 50 members of the California judiciary at a sold-out Annual Judges’ Night event in Glendale, California to honor Judge Victor Chavez, Judge Huey Cotton and Judge Holly Fujie for their commitment to advancing the cause of inclusion, diversity and the independence of the California and Federal Judiciary.
Our work—actually, the inspiring work of our members on behalf of our Armenian Bar Association—is sheer inspiration and purpose. We acknowledge and hold in the highest regard the very fact that, in pursuit of its defense of the rights of the Armenian people and the Armenian Cause, time and again, it is the Armenian volunteer who has risen to the challenge. The Armenian Bar Member is indeed a true Hye Gamavor.
And the value of our work is literally sewn into the fabric of our people’s history. The flags of two of the largest, historic Armenian political parties brandish not only the sword—but also the pen. We, the members of the Armenian Bar Association, recognize the importance of that pen and, since our very founding, have toiled proudly and commitedly to writing the story of justice, of fairness and of rights into the hearts, minds and future of the Armenian people. With pen in hand, and our return to the Homeland on our horizon, we stand unwaveringly united with the Armenian people—and we push forward.
We push forward with the continued commitment that—with all of our collective strength and without rest—we will volunteer the service of our legal expertise, our assembled resources and the unrelenting spirit of our unbreakable Armenian Gamavor to the pursuit of the Armenian Cause, to the security of the Armenian people and, of course, to the promise of justice that is the very root of our Armenian story.