The victory of every nation is a result of national unity: today is Monte's Memorial Day
The victory of every nation, first of all is, the result of national unity that should be built on reasonable calculations
Monte Melkonian, one of the symbols of the Artsakh war, was born on November 25 1957 in Visalia, California. At the age of 12, he came to know about his Armenian identity and went on a journey to Western Armenia, as he loved to say - to his grandfathers' home. In 1973, Monte’s parents sent him to study in Japan. After graduating from the College of Osaka, he went to South Korea, then to Vietnam, where he witnessed the war.
In 1975, he graduated from Mount Whitney High School and at the age of 20 he entered the California University of in Berkeley, where he completed his four year course with two titles, getting certificates of archeologist and Asian history specialist. He was fluent in English, French, Spanish, Italian, Turkish, Persian, Japanese and Kurdish. During the years of studying at the university, he established the Armenian Student Union and organized an exhibition dedicated to the Armenian Genocide. Later Monte got a scholarship to defend his doctorate at Oxford University, but he did not go to England. Instead, he went to Western Armenia in order to study Vaspurakan's rock-cut tombs and dwellings.
In 1978, he went to Iran and later to Lebanon to participate in the self-defense battles of the Armenian community of Beirut.
In 1980, Monte joined the "Armenian Secret Army of Liberation", got arrested in Paris in November of 1981 on charges of preparing a Turkish diplomat's murder in Rome, which was denied, but Monte was imprisoned for holding a false passport.
Monte became one of the most important figures of ASALA in two years. He is the author of articles in the Paris "Hay Payqar" and London "Kaytser" periodicals, San Francisco “Sardarapat” magazine, as well as a number of English books about the Armenian national question, published in London. After leaving prison in 1991, Monte came to Yerevan, worked in the National Academy of Sciences for 7 months to write and publish the book "Armenia and its neighbors".
In 1991, he married a Lebanese-Armenian girl, named Seda.
During the movement in Artsakh, the Defense Ministry, considering Monte’s courage, in January 1992, assigned him commander of the. One of the brilliant operations, led by him, was the defense of the Omar mountain pass. From March 27 to April 2 (1993), the most complex operation of destroying the enemy’s bases, deployed in Qarvachar region, was carried out under his leadership.
On June 12, 1993, after the extensive destruction of the Aghdam fire points, Commander of the Martuni region's self-defense forces Monte Melkonian came down with his soldiers to inspect the situation. By the village of Marzili, near Aghdam, he unexpectedly encountered the enemy's BMP-1 armored vehicle, with soldiers inside and around. When Monte got out of the car, they opened fire at him, as a result of which Monte and his comrade Saribek were killed.
Monte Melkonian's remains were buried at Erablur pantheon.
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