Parliament Speaker: Let's unite for Georgia, common future
Parliament Speaker: Let's unite for Georgia, common future

Georgian Parliament Speaker Shalva Papuashvili delivered a speech on the occasion of Georgia’s Independence Day, marked on 26 May.

Below is the speech as delivered:

“I congratulate you on the Independence Day of Georgia – a long-awaited joy of many generations, the expression of the will of the united nation and the exclamation of the Georgian spirit. Today represents the insatiable desire of the population of Georgia to gain the right to decide their own future, to establish a dignified place among other nations, and to finally solidify a safe environment for development.

This day is a result of a centuries-long bloodshed in the fight against enemies and relentless battle with the soil. However, the struggle for freedom never ends. Especially for a small nation like us that was granted by fate a location at the crossroads of the greatest civilizations.

Both, friends and foes tried to confuse Georgians, set them to the wrong banner, and swear by a different sun. Thus, we should always remember that we have one flag, one coat of arms, one anthem and one motherland.

Every time, when the identity of our country was threatened, the ancient gene was awakened in Georgians, solidified by the historical struggles throughout thousands of years, and the mind enlightened by wisdom, which led our nation to a peaceful place. It was so in the past; it is so today and it will be so tomorrow.

With its centuries-old existence, struggle and commitment to humane values, Georgia has repeatedly proven that it is a country that has never wanted to shed the blood of the people of another nation in order to survive, has never tried to promote its own interests at the expense of others, and has never dared to achieve prosperity by oppressing others.

On the contrary, Georgia has always been the first to raise its voice against injustice and oppression for the freedom of friendly nations. The path chosen by the Georgian people to gain and maintain independence is as noble as the goal itself.

Dear soldiers,

Today you took an oath before the flag of our motherland and promised to be the soldiers of independent Georgia, the first defenders of the independence and peace of Georgia. Today, each of you joined the Georgian army, which is a direct expression of our national spirit, perseverance and courage.

Today you are the army of Kuji and Farnavaz, Mirian and Gorgasali, David, Tamar and Erekle; Dignified successors of their thousand-year-old military traditions. Behind you is our homeland and an army of every citizen of Georgia. We all have one national mission: to protect and strengthen our homeland, our language and our faith. This is a sacred mission that was handed over to us by our ancestors and which no one can ever replace.

We have never failed to distinguish between friends and foes. We have always been kind to our friends, and a ‘wicked gossip’ for our enemies. We have followed this principle to this day and will continue doing so in the future.

Independence is a prerequisite for preserving national identity. And in similar determination, our motherland aims to establish an equal place in a unity of Europe and the world.

In this spirit, our soldiers fought in international military operations, where they wrote the name of a Georgian soldier in the letters of gold; In the time of trouble, the Georgian heart was always and everywhere beating on the front line.

We went there with our heart and not greed, faith and not duty, here we were few – there we were almost in the largest number. Our contribution to international missions was outstanding because we have never measured our responsibility before the world according to the size of our country. This is why the Georgian people expect that attitude towards us will be determined not by the size of our country, but by the size of our people’s hearts.

There is no need to create legends and myths on the dedication and indomitability of the Georgian soldier, because the roots of this continuous history date back to thousands of years – from the armies of honorable kings to dreamlike acts of heroism committed before our eyes. I bow before all these Georgian heroes, whose heroic deeds are embedded in the pillars of Georgia’s freedom and statehood.

Dear friends,

This is our day, the day of every citizen of Georgia, of those who sincerely love this country regardless of differences. We do not have a right not to turn every heartbeat that beats for this country into one great Georgian unity.

This is why my appeal to everyone, the children of this country, our Abkhaz and Ossetian brothers and sisters, the elders and the youths, is to unite for Georgia, for our common future, for tomorrow. We must remember that for us there is no other homeland more than this.

On the Independence Day of Georgia, I once again congratulate Georgian soldiers, every citizen of Georgia, our families and true friends of our country.

Glory to Georgia!

May God protect our homeland!”