Reference : V-P-AM-E-00329
Date : 15/04/2015
Country/Region : ARMENIA
Caption : Armavir region, Armavir. With the support of the ICRC, Armenian Red Cross Society and the municipality, persons plant trees in the town's central park in memory of their missing loved ones.
Photographer : GALSTYAN, Hasmik
Confidentiality level : public
Publication restrictions : publication without restrictions
Copyright : ICRC
Description : ICRC website, “Armenia: Trees as living memories”, 4 August 2015

"Families of missing persons recently gathered in the central park of Armavir to plant ash trees in memory of their loved ones – 41 people from Armavir Region who went missing in the early 1990s, during the Nagorny Karabakh conflict. The event was a tribute to missing persons who have no grave – not even a plaque where their families can go to remember them.
"My husband would have been 67 today," says Svetlana Melkonyan. "He loved nature, so I'm happy that the tree planting ceremony coincided with his birthday. It was difficult for me to bring up our two children all alone. And today, I'm here with my grandson, who's watering a tree planted for his grandfather."
Karine Zaderyan was 30 years old when her husband went missing, leaving her alone with four children. "Our loss is huge. Nothing can comfort us," she says. "Now, after 23 years, we're planting these trees to remind us. This park is in the city centre, next to the church. As the trees grow, I'll bring my grandchildren here and tell them, 'look, this is your grandfather's tree.'"
The idea of planting trees in memory of those who have disappeared came from their families and was supported by the Armavir branch of the Armenian Red Cross, the ICRC and the local authorities. Armavir town council allocated an area in the park. As the saplings grow, this area will become a special place for the families; an avenue, where each tree will symbolize a missing person.
"For us, it's very important to have his name engraved somewhere. We'll visit this park, sit down to rest and remember him. We're so thankful for all the support we've received," says Gayane Vardanyan, whose husband went missing in 1992.
Similar events took place in Vedi and Masis, in Ararat Region.
As part of the ICRC's Accompaniment Project, various commemorative events involving the relatives of missing persons take place across Armenia. The events are organized jointly with the Armenian Red Cross Society, local NGOs and the authorities."
Original material : digital
Resolution : 5184x3456
Orientation : landscape
Colour/B&W : colour