Memorial for the Heroes of 1921 Opens on Old Parliament Façade

On February 25, ninety-seven years ago, the Bolsheviks took Tbilisi, annexing Georgia into the Soviet Union. Seventy years of Bolshevism left the country, along with many if not all of the other former Soviet Republics, with and identity crisis and soul-searching that continues to this day, as this part of the world struggles to reconcile with its recent history.

To honor the sacrifice and bravery of the heroes of 1921, who gave their lives to defend Tbilisi against the onslaught of the Red Army, a memorial to the heroes was opened on the façade of the old parliament building last Friday.

Mtatsminda Single Mandate MP Salome Zurabishvili initiated the project to open the memorial at the request of the descendant of Maro Makashvili, a 20-year-old heroine of the war, daughter of poet Konstantine Makashvili, who fought near Tbilisi as a volunteer nurse, dying on the battlefield as a result of a bomb explosion. At the opening, she recalled the windy day on February 12, 1921 when the cadets of the General Kvinitadze Academy confronted the Russian 11th Army at Kojori-Tabakhmela.

"They deprived us of our history and our independence. These cadets in their early twenties sacrificed their lives near Kojori and Tabakhmela to defend our freedom. We owe them for our freedom and we shall be more responsible and continue to fight. We shall remember our history and the facts.”

The memorial was placed on the external façade of the internal yard.

Zurabishvili’s Office, in cooperation with the Defense Ministry, compiled a list of deceased cadets to commemorate them on the memorial on April 9 Street. She said the process of identifying cadets was a complicated one, hence the blank spaces on the memorial in case further heroes are identified.

“These blank spaces are for those people who fought for independence of Georgia over the centuries,” she said.

The event was attended by MPs, Minister of Culture Mikheil Giorgadze and descendants of the cadets.

By Máté Földi

01 March 2018 18:26