Nation of Georgia Marks Independence Anniversary With Bronze Reagan Statue

The post-Soviet satellite will unveil the statue -- not far from George W. Bush street -- on Wednesday

reag nov22 p.jpg

A bronze statue of former U.S. President Ronald Reagan sits on a bench in Tbilisi / YouTube

This year, the world marks the 20th anniversary of the Soviet empire going belly up. No less importantly, on November 23, Georgia will be marking St. George's Day and the eighth anniversary of the 2003 Rose Revolution. So, what better way to celebrate all three events than to unveil a monument to Ronald Reagan in downtown Tbilisi?

Tbilisi residents strolling in one downtown park will soon find the crusader against the "evil empire" sitting casually on a bench with crossed legs, and gesturing for passers-by to join him for a chat; probably on the ills of Communism or the merits of economic deregulation.

Both topics have many a fan in the Georgian government and sympathetic circles -- could we be seeing soon some familiar faces seated alongside the 40th US president?

There is definitely enough room on the bronze bench for enthusiasts to sit down and take photos with the life-size monument, as the pro-government Rustavi2 national broadcaster encouragingly notes. The sculpture is emblazoned with the Reagan-attributed quote "Freedom Is Never More than One Generation Away from Extinction."

Granted, other ex-Communist countries also have commemorated Reagan, but Georgia clearly has a thing for US presidents, dead or alive.  

Travelers arrive and leave eastern Tbilisi via George W. Bush Street, which features the 43rd president waving a hand from a placard to outbound traffic. George W. may have earned the honor largely for swinging by in 2005 to say hi to Georgia as a "beacon of democracy," in his own words.

To balance out the message-making, though, you might think that Georgia, which counts heavily on diplomatic support from Washington, some day might need a wave from or a chat with a Democratic US president, too. But, as of now, no news about plans for an Obama turnpike or a JFK bust.

Presented by

Saving the Bees

Honeybees contribute more than $15 billion to the U.S. economy. A short documentary considers how desperate beekeepers are trying to keep their hives alive.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in Global

Just In