Officials, public pay tribute to victims of April 9 tragedy

Georgia's Primer with son laid flowers at the April 9 Memorial. Photo by PM's Official website., 09 Apr 2014 - 13:34, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian high officials are today remembering the people who died in the hands of Russian troops as they supported the independence of Georgia.

On this day 25 years ago at least twenty people were tragically killed as Soviet troops attacked peaceful protestors in Tbilisi.

From dawn this morning, family of the fallen, community members and officials gathered outside the Parliament Building on Rustaveli Ave in central Tbilisi at the April 9 memorial. Some lit candles while others presented flowers in remembrance of those who died during the demonstration.

Today, Georgia marks the 25th anniversary of the April 9 tragedy and the 23rd anniversary of its independence from the Soviet Union.

The date has been etched into the minds of locals and is remembered as the day of National Unity. It is recognized as a public holiday in Georgia.

Georgia’s Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili paid tribute the victims of the April 9, 1989 tragedy. In an official letter, Garibashvili said today was an important day in Georgia’s history.

This day became a symbol of struggle for freedom and self-sacrifice of Georgian people in the modern history of Georgia. Independence and freedom were the ideals, for which our countrymen lost their lives, the PM said.
The dedication of our countrymen and how they shed blood for the country has not been forgotten. Today, Georgia is an independent and free country. We will never forget our heroes [and] will always honor their memory and will remain committed to the ideals to which they sacrificed their lives, Garibashvili emphasized.

Other members of the Georgian Government paid tribute to those who lost their lives 25 years ago.

Georgia’s Defence Minister Irakli Alasania visited the April 9 Memorial and laid a wreath at the site, which is located in front of the Parliament Building on Rustaveli Ave in Tbilisi.

This day is very important for the whole nation to honour the memory of those who sacrificed their lives fighting for our country's independence 25 years ago, Alasania said.
For Georgian solders and the Defence Ministry, these people are the example, the standard that we should always retain and never falter.

Meanwhile, Cabinet Ministers are expected to plant trees in memory of the April 9 victims. The Ministry of Environmental Protection said the event would be held within the Prime Minister’s "Green Future” initiative.