Georgia, Tbilisi, Jan. 11 / Trend N.Kirtzkhalia /
Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili awarded U.S. Senator John McCain the Order of Georgia's National Hero. The presentation ceremony took place in Batumi today. "McCain is a real hero, who showed his heroism to the United States and Georgia", Saakashvili said.
He said the senator is a true hero, who was tortured during the Vietnam War by Viet Cong, but he has not given the coordinates of an American battalion, saving it from destruction. "Heroes do not exist not only in the anthems and songs, they live near us and McCain is one of them," he said.
Saakashvili said that while serving in the Soviet army, he bought from one of the Russian general's pistol that was allegedly taken away from one of the American pilots in Vietnam. "I do not know whose gun it is, but I want to return it to the senator, who is a true friend of ours and who has never betrayed us," he said.
"The senator was the first who supported us during Russia's aggression and defended Georgia from aggression from the television channels. This required a special courage. Moreover, his wife visited Georgia in those days and helped our people. Leaving the election campaign, McCain has stopped many thousands of tanks by his activities. He was with us until the end, he is not escaped into the bushes, which made many of those who swore allegiance to us," the president said stressing that his people will never forget the heroic effort.
After the presentation, Georgian singer Sopho Nizharadze performed the U.S. national anthem.
The senator thanked the Georgian people for the award, stating that it "is very important to him." "This award is s result of efforts of Americans and Georgians, who showed heroism,' he said. "This is more than decoration, it is a manifestation of the friendship between our peoples and it does not belong only to me but also all the American people, who stood next to Georgia during the aggression. This is a commitment to democratic and human priorities and the recognition of their own great priority. These are the values that stand above all, above the individual leaders, and we need to achieve the implementation of these ideas," McCain said.
He stressed that "Georgian democracy will grow and attain new heights."
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