1988-2013: A quarter century of rebuilding, a lifetime of remembering

The Spitak earthquake on December 7, 1988 was a defining moment in the history of present-day Armenia.

The profound loss of life and displacement of lives was only the beginning of suffering and of challenges that in the coming years would see the collapse of a political structure, the complicated birth of a new one, historic hardship brought by energy blockade and war that – all combined – crippled Armenia in ways unimaginable.

So much time has passed that a second, post-earthquake, generation has begun, started by parents born as “replacement” children for those lost 25 years ago. But not enough time has passed to undo the devastation.

Armenians are famous for surviving. Still, after a quarter-century of rebuilding, the wounds of December 8, 1988 have not scarred despite constant attention to transform the “disaster zone” into a semblance of normalcy for those who survived the earthquake’s horror to inherit its legacy of aftershock.

This weekend ArmeniaNow devotes its coverage to articles reported, photographed, written and edited over the past three months from Shirak and Lori Provinces, where life goes but where memory is as fresh as new flowers on too many graves with the same date of death.