Today is a woeful date in Turkmenistan – the Day of National Commemoration of the Victims of the Ashgabat earthquake of 1948, as well as the heroes who fell on the battlefields of all wars. President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov took part in the funeral ceremony of laying wreaths at the monuments of the Halk Hakydasy Memorial Complex.
More than 70 years have passed since one of the most tragic events in the history of the Turkmen people, the memories of which still echo with pain in the heart of every Turkmen citizen. The sadness is magnified many times by the consciousness that there are no perpetrators of this terrible tragedy. There are only innocent victims of it.
On the night of October 5-6, 1948, at 1:12 a.m., the elements struck with colossal power, in an instant shifting billions of tons of earth and destroying the Turkmen capital to the ground. A terrible tragedy, cruelly crossing out the fate of people, divided Ashgabat residents into the dead and the alive, who lost their closest people.
In the early morning, thousands of Ashgabat residents came to the Halk Hakydasy Memorial Complex, located in the south-western part of the capital and serving as a majestic symbol of deep reverence for valiant heroes, respect of the Turkmen people for their great past.
The car of the President of Turkmenistan stops at the site in front of the Memorial Complex.
The nation’s leader is walking along the alley, along which the valiant soldiers of the National Army – worthy successors of courageous ancestors - are standing guard of Honor.
The National Anthem of Turkmenistan is being played.
President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov lays a wreath at the majestic monument Ruhy Tagzym to pay tribute to all those who died during the 1948 earthquake. At this moment, a feeling of sincere empathy embraces all those gathered on the square, sincerely sharing the grief of the head of state, who lost his grandfather Berdimuhamed Annayev, a veteran of the 1941-1945 war, a teacher and educator who devoted himself to the noble cause of educating the younger generation, on that tragic night.
The sad melody of Kechpelek sounds, which has become a piercing musical expression of people’s grief for those who died in a natural disaster, for the fallen defenders of the Fatherland and the victims who innocently passed away.
Then the national leader laid beautiful wreaths of autumn flowers at the foot of the monuments Milletieni ogullary and Baky şöhrat, erected in honor of the Turkmen soldiers who fell in the battle against fascism and heroes of all wars who laid down their heads in the battles for the freedom of their native Homeland. These monuments have become symbols of the unquenchable national memory of the valiant sons of the Turkmen land.
Today our people bow their heads before the courage of our valiant warriors. Remembering the milestones of our heroic history, each of us pays a debt to our brave ancestors, passing from generation to generation the memory of the feat of legendary heroes.
Thousands of our countrymen demonstrated unparalleled steadfastness, loyalty to military duty, selfless love for their native land on the fronts of the 1941-1945 war, including the grandfather of the leader of the nation, Berdimuhamed Annayev, whose life path today serves as a model of true patriotism and devotion to duty for Turkmen youth.
Wreaths and bouquets of flowers after the nation’s leader are laid by the Chairman of the Mejlis Milli Gengesh, Deputy Chairman of the Halk Maslahaty Milli Gengesh, Deputy Prime Ministers, heads of military and law enforcement agencies, the Hyakim of the city of Ashgabat.
Representatives of political parties and public organizations, ministries and departments, honorary elders, students, residents of the capital joined them. Numerous bouquets of flowers cover the marble slabs at the foot of the monuments in a matter of minutes.
At the Memorial Complex, the President of Turkmenistan inspected the wall bas-reliefs of famous personalities who left an indelible mark in history with their invaluable services to the people and the country, who, having shown heroism, did not spare their lives for the happiness of future generations and peace in their native land. Thus, the principles of honoring folk heroes should be developed in accordance with the spirit of the modern era.
Focusing on the role of the Memorial Complex in educating the younger generation in the spirit of patriotism, the head of state highlighted the need to organize excursions for school students and students of educational institutions, pay special attention to the formation of a sense of pride and reverence for the great history of our courageous people, the desire to study the glorious heroic past of the nation on a systematic basis.
It requires joint efforts of higher education schools, public organizations and other relevant structures. Noting that these values play a special role in conveying to future generations the exemplary life path of our ancestors, who left an indelible mark in history with their heroism and patriotism, the President of Turkmenistan stressed that it is necessary to regularly hold events for their solid foundation in the minds and hearts of young people, giving instructions to the relevant leaders in this regard.
The memorial wreath-laying ceremony held today at the Memorial Complex Halk Hakydasy has become another vivid symbol of the continuity of the traditions of great ancestors in the ancient Turkmen land. As on this Day we are particularly aware of the importance of the indissoluble memory of generations for the enhancement of the high spirituality of our people, for the happiness of living and working peacefully in a free, prosperous country.