Medina had been preparing for the wedding for about a year. He cherished and looked like Vusal’s henna honcha and groom’s clothes every day. He repaired the house in the village and decorated the groom’s room. He was the middle of the five children of Medina. Although the two girls and two boys in the family got married, Vusal was not in a hurry yet, so that I should finish my education, complete my course, serve and then get married, – he said. His mother Medina and father Islam were looking forward to that day. Every time Vusal comes, he brings the orders and medals he was awarded in courses and trainings and puts them on his mother’s chest, I received all these medals and orders thanks to you. If you hadn’t raised me patriotic, I wouldn’t have succeeded. “That’s your right, mother,” he said.
I learn all this in the family of a martyr I visited – in a hearth where we gathered in the light of the soul of Vusal Veliyev Islam.
His mother, Medina, with whom I spoke, speaks with a burning heart:
All my children are dear to me. Vusal was completely different. He was my eyeball. He calls every morning, when I don’t hear his voice, I run out of energy, your voice gives me strength, – he said. He was so sensitive to his family … He didn’t want any of us to be informed when he was wounded in the April fighting. One of my eldest sons, Aposh, went and visited him in a hospital in Ganja. He was also instructed not to let my father know. Every time he came on vacation, he spoke with such enthusiasm about the success of our soldiers in training. He said, mother, we will definitely take back our lands. I will take you to Shusha, and from there to Kalbajar and Istisu. The springs there are the cure for a thousand illnesses. Every day since the beginning of the war, my eyes were on the phone, everyone called, but nothing from him. I prayed day and night holding my hand to Almighty God, protect our people and our children there. His father was so anxious that he did not hear from him that he could not keep in touch. When the martyrs come to Nakhchivan, they think, let them be entrusted to God, – he said. He never told me he was thinking. He spent most of the day on the land that Vusal had bought to build a house. He told me not to think, he is a brave boy, now he fights like a lion, he will return safe and sound. But I felt deeply concerned about the loss of my lifelong friend, Vusal. It reminded him of his childhood. When he was three days old, his father went missing in World War II. Perhaps this thought caused his heart to stop. Vusal’s dream house would be built on this side, a house built on the sunrise is good. We will plant a garden in the yard, – he said and said goodbye to life in the yard. Although I did not know Vusal when I lost my husband, I felt that he was alive and still fighting. That day (November 9), as if a fire had fallen on my heart, I could not find a place for myself. At that moment, a voice came for a moment, as if someone called me the mother of a martyr, and I quickly went outside and looked out into the yard. There was no one. A white dove came to our door. A dove with a wounded chest. Later I found out that my son was killed at that moment. Perhaps that white dove was the soul of Vusal. He was a supporter of peace, my son. The day after my son’s funeral, that white, wounded dove arrived.
That day Vusal’s funeral arrived, I was informed that he had been martyred. The first thing that came to my mind at that moment was who would welcome him. I have two sons, many relatives, but no father. If Islam was alive, he would meet my son himself, – I said. When I learned that the dear elder of our country – the Chairman of the Supreme Assembly – personally met the martyrs, my burning heart calmed down a little. “he was not welcomed without a father,” I said. When I brought my son to our hearth, I decorated our house like a wedding house and laid a red carpet on the way. I rang the wedding baby. You preferred the martyr’s shirt to the groom’s. You loved your Homeland more than your wife, mother and sister, Vusal, – I said.
Aposh Valiyev (brother): – Vusal’s greatest dream was the integrity of the Motherland. The year he opened his eyes to the world, black clouds covered our hands. He spent his childhood listening to the sounds of shells fired by the hated enemy and the stories of the heroes who died in the battles for the Motherland. My childhood dream was to become a soldier. A few days after the start of the war, we could not hear from him. Our hearts doubted that we had probably lost him in the Murov operation. But as a last moment, I was hopeful. In our last correspondence with him, everything is fine, be yourself, there is no need to worry, he wrote. He was the commander of the attack battalion. He once learned the secrets of martial arts from officers like Polad Hashimov. He always said that I was a student of a real general. Polad Hashimov was killed in a provocation in June. He wanted revenge. When he finds an opportunity and comes to Baku, he goes to his grave. Our dear general, it is haraam for us to breathe in this world without taking revenge. He loved being a soldier so much that even though he was wounded, he did not leave the army.
He had high hopes for victory. We will return Karabakh under the leadership of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief, – he said every time he talked. Sometimes I would tell him jokingly, as if you were born in Shusha, you love Karabakh so much, as if you are from Karabakh. He always smiled and answered: Nakhchivan, Shusha, Karabakh and the whole of Azerbaijan are ours. He also drank martyrdom wine in his beloved Shusha. From the day I heard the news of Vusal’s martyrdom, my fellow officers, friends and soldiers called me every day, wrote and spoke about his bravery. When I saw my brother’s body, I saw that he was braver than I thought. I knew that he was fighting because he had bandages on his arms and legs. They are proud to say that they did not leave the battlefield, despite the fact that their comrades were wounded.
His comrade-in-arms, Gazanfar Dunyamaliyev, says that if I am alive today, I owe it to my comrade-in-arms, Vusal. He pulled me out of the ditch, risking his life in a wounded condition. He carried a seven-kilometer road on his shoulder. Although he was injured, he never returned back, he always said forward and behind me.
When Vusal’s body was brought to Nakhchivan, the Chairman of the Supreme Assembly personally met him at the airport. Like our father, he shared our pain. He did not feel the absence of my father. We, the families of all martyrs, have only one wish and one consolation: to honor the memory of our loved ones, not to forget them. And I have witnessed all this once again here in my Homeland. The people of Nakhchivan welcome the children of martyrs as their own, they cry for them, and everyone is proud of them.
Tural Valiyev (brother): – We were like twins because of the small age difference between us. He always went everywhere, played games together, and at school we were inseparable. The summit he rose was one he had always dreamed of. After graduating from the Military Lyceum named after Heydar Aliyev, Vusal also successfully completed the Azerbaijan Higher Military School named after Heydar Aliyev. He served in the Murovdagh range in Beylagan, Aghdam, Tartar, Gazakh, Tovuz and Goygol regions and was promoted to the rank of major. He took part in the operation to liberate Murov Heights in Murovdag in a counterattack launched by the Azerbaijani Armed Forces on September 27. He was killed during the battles of Shusha on November 9. He was buried on December 14 in the Alley of Martyrs in Sharur. During his military service, he was awarded the Jubilee Medal “95th Anniversary of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces”, the Jubilee Medal “100th Anniversary of the Azerbaijani Army”, the Medal “For Peacekeeping Mission in Afghanistan” and the Order of the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev dated December 15, 2020. Was awarded the medal. As a martyr’s brother, on behalf of our family, I thank the head of state and the head of our autonomous republic for this attention and care.
The motherland song in the language of the Azerbaijani soldier, the fire of Karabakh and the hatred of the enemy in his heart jumped into war and restored historical justice in the 44-day. Every soldier fought like a lion, the people of Azerbaijan proved to the whole world that there is nothing dearer and higher than the Motherland. The world has never seen such love for the Homeland. Hundreds of brave sons of Azerbaijan, like Vusal, have reunited their lives with their Homeland for 30 years at the cost of their lives. They themselves have become an unquenchable torch in the hearts of our people.
Translator: Emin Gulmammadov