Independence Day a Symbol of Georgia’s Statehood

“Compatriots, I congratulate you on our Independence Day,” said Giorgi Margvelashvili, the Georgian President, addressing a large audience gathered on Freedom Square in Tbilisi to celebrate Independence Day on May 26.

“We pay our respect to those who made our freedom and independence a reality through their efforts and with their lives. At the same time, we are celebrating our future victories. Happy Independence Day. God bless Georgia,” the President stated.

The day’s official celebrations did not include a military parade, which had been removed from the schedule by the Georgian Dream government to avoid potentially irritating Russia. However, the events on Rustaveli Avenue did include presentations of military hardware including exotic air maneuvers and a ceremony of Georgian soldiers taking an oath. Moreover, new military achievements and improvements were exhibited for citizens to see.

Barack Obama, President of the US, congratulated PM Irakli Gharibashvili on the Independence Day of Georgia. “Dear Prime Minister, I would like to congratulate you and all Georgian people on May 26 - Independence Day of Georgia,” the letter reads. 

“There is firm, active and strategic partnership between our countries. The United States was proud to support Georgia last year, when local elections were held, the Association Agreement was signed and NATO’s substantial package was given to Georgia. Today, we support Georgia’s democratic and economic development, which is very significant in terms of providing Euro-Atlantic integration and new trade and investment possibilities,” the President wrote.

President Obama also emphasized Georgia’s commitment and contribution to safeguarding global security and reaffirmed US support toward Georgia’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and its European and Euro-Atlantic aspirations.

Along with other international leaders, Petro Poroshenko, the Ukrainian President, also congratulated his Georgian counterpart Margvelashvili on Georgia’s Independence Day: “I congratulate you on this national holiday on behalf of the Ukrainian people. Implementation of democratic and structural reforms became the main contributing factor for achieving authority at the international level. I am confident that our relationship, based on bilateral respect and trust will develop, including that of our European path.”

On a highly symbolic day for Georgia’s statehood, the national flags of Lithuania and Georgia were displayed on Cathedral Square in Vilnius. Georgian citizens perceived the message by the Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite as a mark of the unity and friendship between the two countries.

Summary by Georgia Today’s Zviad Adzinbaia:

Since Georgia’s first republic of 1918, the country has cherished its freedom and sovereignty, either side of the 70-year Soviet occupation, which seriously stunted Georgia’s free movement toward its natural family, Europe. More than two decades have passed after Georgia won its independence from the Soviet remnants of 1990s, as it has opted for the West instead. On the Independence Day, Georgia celebrates its free will to join the EU and NATO, the organizations offering the security and economic prosperity of Europe and beyond.

Zviad Adzinbaia

28 May 2015 23:05