Address by President Saakashvili at cadets’ commemorating ceremony

Welcome, everybody!

Georgia's previous president never came here, but we, today, are paying respect to the memory of every person who tragically died for the independence of Georgia. Not only Georgian cadets but many generations of the Georgian patriots have been fighting for the independence of Georgia.

When these men came here, they had neither armament nor money, nor international support, and what's worse their fate did not worry anyone.

Virtually, they were destined to die because the battle was lost beforehand.

This generation studies a lot from this experience and we have to study much more, because the state which, virtually, was not called Sakartvelo [Georgia] (it was referred to as Georgian SSR) was celebrating February 25.

The day before yesterday I was listening to the radio and during the program an anchor was congratulating everyone on the men's day.

February 23 is not and will never be Georgian men's day. February 23 is the day of Georgia's occupants, the day of the army which ruined and annihilated Georgia and made it turn away from the road of European development.

Georgia does not need those men who celebrate February 23 (as well as February 25) as if it were Georgia's holiday.

We need the men for whom Georgia is not an empty word and just a toast. We need the men for whom the essence of their lives is to serve the country.

As if everything repeats today.

Do you will remember how Orjonikidze came to Georgia?. It was announced that Borchalu proletariat rebelled because of existing social problems in the district (however, as it turned up later there was only one proletariat in Borchalu at that time) as a result of which 11th red army, sadly, with the leadership of the Georgians, marched on Georgia to save its people from social oppression.

Look how many parallels can be drawn.

Again there are talks about how miserable and poor Georgian people are, however in the last few years Georgia, in terms of economic growth, has been advancing very fast.

Today, they started talking again how Georgia needs to be saved and there also turned up another Orjonikidze.

Today it might be Giorgadze, tomorrow it might be somebody else, but it does not mean anything.

There are already over-educated, allegedly prudent Georgians who consider themselves very cultivated. These are the very people who are saying that it is not worth saying a singe word; on the contrary, they think that it is expedient to be rather obedient.

They concurred us once when we had been obedient.

Just imagine how different country Georgia could have been in 1921 if the 11th red army, with the leadership of the worst Georgians did not enter Georgia.

We are the Georgian patriots. The Georgian patriot means every Ossatian, Azerbaijani, Armenian, Russian and Abkhazian who live in Georgia and love Georgia. Georgian patriotism is not ethnic and tribal term.

Some allegedly over-educated people think that it is dangerous to talk about love for your country. If French and American can be proud of their country, we, the Georgians, can also be even more proud of our past, our history, our country, our present and our future.

Of course, it is impossible to forget past.

According to my decree an occupation museum will be opened in the center of Tbilisi on May 26.

This museum will resemble the ones in Latvia and in other east European states. The reason we are doing this is that children knew what was our past and who were our heroes.

Of course, struggle has not finished yet.

We are a free and democratic society but this society needs special care and reinforcement.

We will fulfill this by all means.

This is the promise we gave in front of the memorial commemorating the memory of our heroes.

There was a bad weather when cadets died here. Today, Georgia is lightened and brightened country with different present and great future.

Thank you very much!

Communications Office
of the President of Georgia

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