Exactly one century ago on this day, 300 Georgian cadets died in the Kojori-Tabahmela battle while defending the independence of the Republic.
"It was snowing but Tbilisi was in black.
Sioni Cathedral was silent, and the people stood still",
– this is how a Georgian poet Nicholas "Kolau" Nadiradze described the national feelings of the Georgian citizens who faced the annexation by the 11th Red Army of Russia while mourning over their young warriors on 25 February 1921.
The average age of the cadets varied between 20 and 25, with less than two years of army training experience before these young noblemen were sent in action. Most of them had their family members in the capital city behind them, only 5 miles away. They fought till their last breath, knowing they had no chance to win against the numerous enemy.
The daring grief of the defeated nation was allowed by the invaders and the burial of the young people went as planned near modern Freedom Square, on Rustaveli Avenue. Later, the Soviet authority destroyed the church, and the graveyard of the national heroes along with the other burials on the area appeared hidden under the massive buildings of the House of Soviet Government (1938-1953).
Soon after regaining independence in April 1991, the Georgian government arranged a memorial for those 300 young cadets whose loyalty towards their country was beyond question: "Here, on the outskirts of Kojori, in February 1921, Georgian cadets, officers, and students, for whom freedom was more valuable than life, fell in the struggle against Russian expansion. As a symbol of the unforgettable reign of good over evil is put this candle".