Shalva Papuashvili: I congratulate every Georgian citizen on this preeminent date in the history of our country – Independence Day of Georgia!
“I congratulate every Georgian citizen and all friends of our homeland on this preeminent date in the history of our country – Independence Day of Georgia!
This day is the symbol of our liberty, persistence and the powerful and intrepid spirit of the Georgian people. Today, we are particularly proud and rejoiced in celebrating the path leading Georgia to its current free and independent statehood.
We are exceptionally grateful to our ancestors, who, manifesting their persistence and courage, created statehood and maintained the national identity for our generation. It is symbolic indeed that today, after a century, one of such figures, at last, returned to the homeland to rest in peace in his native land.
Today, by the efforts of the Government, we have carried the cadaveric remains of the First Deputy Chair of the Constituent Assembly, the state figure, Alexander Lomtatidze from the place of exile to be buried in the native land. In this light, for the particular merit contributed to the enhancement of independence, statehood and parliamentarism of Georgia, on behalf of the Parliament, we award the presidium of the Constituent Assembly with the posthumous Parliamentary Orders: the Chair of the Assembly, Karlo Chkheidze; the First Deputy Chair, Alexander Lomtatidze, and the Deputy Chairs, Ekvtime Takaishvili and Svimon Mdivani.
On behalf of the Georgian people, we pay tribute to their merit, including the Commanders of the “Military Center” awarded the title of the National Hero by the President, and all heroes of the First Republic who contributed to their homeland. Despite all the efforts of our great ancestors and their coeval patriots, independence gained on May 26, 1918, lasted only three years. However, the deprivation of independence and the Soviet annexation proved to be incapable to suppress the national aspiration for the independence of our nation.
Against the background of the Soviet occupation, it was the idea of liberty of May 26, which served as the basis for the faith of the Georgian people and devotion to keep fighting for the independence of Georgia. This aspiration gained its outcome and the dream and desire of the generations have come true – Georgia, triggered by the efforts of Zviad Gamsakhurdia, Merab Kostava and the generation of our parents, achieved the restoration of independence on April 9, 1991. The fight and sacrifice of our previous generations, clergymen and secular persons unified for gaining the liberty of our country are invaluable indeed and a model for us.
The recognition of the European perspective of Georgia and the engagement in the EU membership process last year would be only illusory for the generation of April 9. However, it is a reality today and I believe that the fulfillment of the genuine Georgian Dream – EU membership – will be the historical attainment of our generation. Georgia cannot be complete without Europe but neither Europe can be complete without Georgia. On this historical day, I also would like to extend my gratitude to our international partners and friends, the support and solidarity of which are of immense aid to us in the enhancement of the sovereignty of our country.
Against the background of the Russian aggression in Ukraine, the value of peace becomes even more imperative. And thus, the role of the Defense Forces of Georgia toward our country and people is unmeasurable. I demonstrate my special anticipation in addressing our youth, who swore-in today to the Lord and the State Flag. I would like to extend my wishes to you for your peaceful service to your country, peaceful but teeming with victories. The history of fighting of Georgia for independence manifests that there is no impediment that cannot be overcome by our unity.
Today, we need to particularly remember that unity makes strength and we all shall acknowledge our responsibility to future generations to ensure peace, justice and welfare. These are the very values that shall serve as a milestone of our historical reconciliation and future coexistence with our Abkhazian and Ossetian brothers and sisters. Our Abkhazian and Ossetian brothers and sisters, not in so very far past, on March 31, 1991, the total majority of Abkhazian and Ossetian people voted for the independence of Georgia.
It was a historical phenomenon indeed when our parents agreed to live in a unified and free Georgia. We shall remember that these are historical facts that cannot be ever deleted. Unfortunately, the conspiration of external forces and our own mistakes led to the violation of this agreement. In retrospect, we can clearly envision that we have no other option but unity and common peace.
I deeply believe that soon, we will celebrate the day of our historical reconciliation for common peace and welfare. And saturated by this aspiration of unity, I congratulate every Georgian citizen on the Independence Day of Georgia”, - the Speaker, H.E. Shalva Papuashvili stated at the event dedicated to Independence Day.
Independence Day is celebrated countrywide in Georgia. Liberty Square was the venue for the swear-in ceremony today, after which the members of the legislative and executive authorities addressed the population with congratulations.
The speeches were delivered by the President of Georgia, Mme. Salome Zourabichvili, Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili, the Speaker of the Parliament, Shalva Papuashvili and the Defense Minister, Juansher Burtchuladze.