Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda awarded 34 Lithuanian and foreign nationals for their merits to Lithuania on Sunday during Independence Restoration Day.
The former US Defence Secretary James Mattis was awarded an Officer's Cross for Merits to Lithuania. He was commended for consolidating US and NATO commitments in Lithuania and for the strategic bilateral defence cooperation.
Read more: Trump, Putin congratulate Lithuania on Independence Restoration Day
James Mattis, a retired United States Marine Corps general, served as the defence secretary in the Trump administration from January 2017 until January 2019.
Thirty-four people were awarded for notable achievements and included three intelligence workers, conductors, members of the anti-Soviet resistance, scientists, musicians, poets, writers, and others.
Other US officials that received awards included members of the military, diplomats, as well as the acting director at the American Jewish Committee.
The other awardees included archeologists who found the remains of the participants of the anti-Tsarist uprising in 1863–1864.
"Thank you to our foreign guests who have a sincere interest in Lithuania and wish it prosperity and peace and continue building bridges among friendly nations," the Lithuanian president said at the start of the ceremony.