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President Zourabichvili Awards Posthumously Avtandil Ioseliani the title of National Hero and Awards Fallen Soldiers for Georgia’s Territorial Integrity and Independence

Per the decision of President Salome Zourabichvili, Avtandil Ioseliani, military servicemen of the 24th Brigade Commandant Company at the 2nd Army Corps, was awarded with the Order of National Hero, receiving the title of Georgian National Hero, for his outstanding courage, exceptional heroism, and dedication in fighting for the defense and unity of the homeland.
 
The President of Georgia handed the highest state award to the widow of Avtandil Ioseliani.
 
Georgian orders and medals were posthumously granted to 23 soldiers fallen for the territorial integrity and independence of Georgia, including the Vakhtang Gorgasali Order, Rank I to four; the Vakhtang Gorgasali Order, Rank II to five; and the Vakhtang Gorgasali, Rank III to eight. The Medal for Military Courage was given to six veterans for their outstanding courage and dominating contribution in fighting to protect Georgia’s territorial integrity.
 
At the ceremony, it was also underlined that Giga Murvanidze, veteran of the Battle of Shindisi, has received an apartment at the initiative of President Zourabichvili and in accord with the Ministry of Defense.
 
The President of Georgia congratulated the invited audience, as well as the families of war veterans on the occasion of Giorgoba during the awarding ceremony. Addressing the participants of the ceremony, she said:
 
“A special congratulation goes to the family members of our soldiers fallen during the wars for Georgia and to our veterans.
 
“You know more than anyone the price of our homeland, of peace, and of unity.
 
“Our homeland is the highest prize that our heroes fought for. Peace is not secured without readiness toward commitment. Only unity can reinforce and strengthen us, both in war and in peace.
 
“Peace is your joint accomplishment. The society gathered here is a demonstration of the values that our country has preserved until today. You demonstrate the spirit on which the national energy of Georgia stands.
 
“It is very significant that Saint Georgia is represented on the Coat of Arms of Georgia. Saint George, as a symbol of victory, of victory of truth, represents the essence of our state. Over the centuries, Georgia has taken this very path, a path that, although filled with battles, ends with victory.
 
“Today, we are gathered here to express our respect for those who dedicated their life to Georgia. It is a great honor for me, as the Supreme Commander-in-Chief, to award the soldiers fallen in Abkhazia in the war for Georgia’s territorial integrity and independence. Today, 24 people are awarded posthumously with various state awards. Moreover today, we will have another National Hero, Avtandil Ioseliani. I pay respect to their memories.
 
“With this gesture, the state once again expresses its respect toward its heroes.
 
“Respect from generation to generation toward the heroes fallen for the homeland is of an utmost importance. The future of our country stands on this memory; it is a memory that needs to be kept in order to preserve the core values of our nation and to reinforce our state.
 
“26 years have passed since the end of hostilities in Abkhazia. The great pain of our victims should not take us back, while shaping our future is our fundamental path toward victory, toward defeating the occupation, toward breaking the barbwire fences, toward reconciling with the Abkhaz and Ossetians, and toward uniting Georgia.
 
“Reconciliation will be our main victory, a victory that sets the ground for the future of uniting Georgia.
 
“Today, Georgia is again being tested: once again in the history of our country, part of our territory is occupied. Once again, internal dissipation and confrontations have emerged; envy and malignance prevail, which weakens our state and only makes our enemy happy.
 
“Today, elements are fighting against the Church again. Georgians have always gathered and united around the church to overcome our troubles, but they are fighting against the Church on which Georgia’s independence stands.
 
“Therefore, I would like to urge everyone once again, today: there in no time for confrontation, especially when we are facing challenges on daily basis from our occupied territories, when we witness how others use our current weakness. There is no time for confrontation when our joint efforts need to be straightforward to release our great doctor in Tskhinvali, and we should be united by this task.
 
“I would like to urge everyone in Parliament to see a solution that perhaps will not delight everyone, but that can create a possibility for defusing tensions.
 
“And, most importantly, I urge everyone to continue working on the electoral code so that our citizenry can freely express their will through fair elections. It will be our victory, it will be the victory of Giorgoba.
 
“Once again, I would like to congratulate you on the occasion of Giorgoba! May his grace bless you and all of Georgia!
 
Family members of veterans, representatives of the Government of the Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia, as well as Archil Talakvadze, Chairman of the Parliament of Georgia, Irakli Sesiashvili, Chairman of the Committee on Defense and Security Affairs, Vladimer Chachibaia, Chief of the Georgian Defense Forces, Rati Bregadze, Deputy Minister of Defense, and Vladimer Imnadze, Director of the State Service of Veterans Affairs, were also in attendance at the awarding ceremony held at the Presidential Palace.
 
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