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2015.09.08 13:45

Lithuania is commemorating Day of Freedom Defenders

BNS Today Lithuania is commemorating a 23-year anniversary of the attempted coup of 13 January 1991.

BNS

Today Lithuania is commemorating a 23-year anniversary of the attempted coup of 13 January 1991.

On Monday morning, candles of unity will be lit in the windows of Lithuanian schools, bureaus and organisations for ten minutes to commemorate those who sacrificed their lives for freedom.

A solemn meeting will be held at the Lithuanian parliament, with the Freedom Prize 2013 to be handed to Kaunas Archbishop Sigitas Tamkevičius during the event.

After the meeting, the national flag will be hoisted at a solemn ceremony in the Independence Square at noon.

Later in the day, memorial plaques will be unveiled on the former buildings of the St. Jacob’s Hospital and the Red Cross Hospital, which treated those who were injured in early hours of 13 January 1991.

A ceremony to pay tribute to the 13 January victims is planned at Antakalnio Cemetery in the afternoon, with events also scheduled in other cities.

Lithuania commemorates 13 January as the Day of Freedom Defenders in honour of those who lost their lives during the 13 January 1991 actions of Soviet troops in Vilnius.

The Soviets then attempted to seize Lithuania’s legitimate administration, which had declared the country’s independence from the Soviet Union on 11 March 1990.

Some 14 people were killed and more than 1,000 unarmed civilians were injured during the attempts by the Soviet army and special forces to seize the TV tower and the Lithuanian Radio and Television building.

Although the TV tower and the Radio and Television building were seized, the Soviets did not attack the building of the Supreme Council – Reconstituent Seimas that was surrounded by thousands of civilians.

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