Justice Minister Thea Tsulukiani took part in planting of saplings in remembrance of the 21 who died during a demonstration for Georgian independence April 9, 1989. (Interpressnews.)

TBILISI, DFWatch–Members of the Georgian government today planted saplings in the Ninth of April Garden in Tbilisi, comemmorating the deadly dispersal of protesters by Soviet troops 25 years ago today.

In remembrance of the tragedy, cabinet members planted saplings of ash, maple, pine, thuja and boxtree, as part of an initiative called “Green Future”.

The April Ninth Park lies in conjunction with the Kashveti Church, opposite of parliament on Rustaveli Avenue.

April 9, 1989, 21 people died after Soviet soldiers moved in and dispersed demonstrators gathered in front of the parliament building to demand Georgian independence.

Exactly two years later, April 9, 1991, Georgia declared its independence.

Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili said in a statement that April 9 has become a symbol of freedom.

“Today, Georgia is an independent and free country. We will never forget our heroes, but will always honor their memory and remain committed to the ideals for which they sacrifices themselves,” the statement says.