A monument to Adolfas Ramanauskas-Vanagas, one of the leaders of Lithuania's anti-Soviet partisan resistance, has been unveiled in Chicago.
The monument was designed by sculptor Jonas Jagela and erected in front of the Lithuanian World Center building in Lemont, according to the Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The participants at Saturday's inauguration included Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius, Auksutė Ramanauskaitė-Skokauskiene, Vanagas' daughter, and Inga Jancevičienė, his granddaughter.
“Today is a special day. There will be a monument to our nation's hero Adolfas Ramanauskas-Vanagas at the very heart of Lithuanianness in the US, the Lithuanian World Center, Lemont. This place is special for Lithuanians,” Linkevičius said at the ceremony.
“The memory of Ramanauskas-Vanagas will be properly cherished here. The story of the hero will be passed down from generation to generation, testifying to the heroism, love of and loyalty to his Homeland – Lithuania,” he said.
The idea to erect the monument was implemented through joint efforts of the Genocide and Resistance Research Center of Lithuania, the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry and the Lithuanian-American Community.
“The monument is a composition comprising a sign of the Lithuanian Freedom Fighters: a vertical flanked by two horizontal parallels transform into the image of a branched oak. This is to emphasize that the forest hid Lithuanian partisans for 10 years, while the oak in Lithuania is a symbol of strength and invincibility,” the ministry said in a press release.
“The symbol was used widely during the guerilla war. The lower portion of the monument is filled with text in both Lithuanian and English. The national coat of arms of Lithuania, a knight in full armor holding a sword and shield, mounted on horse (also known as Vytis), is placed above the text,” it said.
Born in 1918, Ramanauskas-Vanagas joined the armed anti-Soviet resistance in 1945. He was arrested and brutally tortured by the Soviets in 1956 and executed a year later.
The Seimas has recognized Ramanauskas-Vanagas as de facto head of state of post-war Lithuania that was fighting against the Soviet occupation.