In observance of Armenian Independence Day, we are off school/work today. So this morning, I headed downtown with friends to witness the annual military parade. I had never seen it before, and since this is the 20th anniversary of Armenian Independence, I decided there would be no more appropriate time for me to finally attend.
The metro was packed, but it was probably the best way to get to Republic Square. We arrived at about 10:45, and the parade was scheduled to begin at 11:00. Amazingly, it started right on time!
The bleachers were reserved for high-ranking government officials, so we peasants gathered around the edges of the square, straining to catch a glimpse of someone or something more important than ourselves.
After about 30 minutes of watching soldiers march around chanting stuff we couldn't hear clearly enough to understand, we were about to leave to find a better view, when suddenly, formations of fighter jets and helicopters began soaring over the square in an impressive show of Russian-backed military might.
Last but not least was the rolling display of tanks, bombs, rockets, missiles, and other testosterone-fueled devices.
All in all, it was a fun and eye-opening experience for me -- not a bad way to spend a day off, anyway! I doubt I will attend future parades, except maybe for Nathan's sake. (He wanted to come with me today, but after making a number of bad choices yesterday, he lost the privilege.) To see footage of the aerial display and a hilarious parade planning goof, check out the "20th Armenian Independence Day Military Parade" videos on our YouTube Channel.