News

2015.03.12 10:14

Lithuania’s 25th Independence anniversary march in Vilnius

Algirdas Acus2015.03.12 10:14

Lithuania celebrates the 25th anniversary of breaking free from the Soviet Union. Vytautas Landsbergis, the man who led the country towards independence, warns about the renewed threats and calls European leaders ‘scared’ to stop the empire’s charge into former colonies.  

Lithuania celebrates the 25th anniversary of breaking free from the Soviet Union. Vytautas Landsbergis, the man who led the country towards independence, warns about the renewed threats and calls European leaders ‘scared’ to stop the empire’s charge into former colonies.

On 11 March 1990, Lithuania's Supreme Council led by Vytautas Landsbergis adopted the Act on the Re-establishment of the State of Lithuania. Lithuania became the first Soviet republic that split from Moscow. The move made a significant contribution to the collapse of the Soviet Union and the entire communist system.

The day of celebrations started with the flower ceremony at the Žinia Monument in the 11th March Independence Square. Then a Solemn sitting of Lithuanian Parliament Seimas was held in a historical Hall of the Act of the 11th March.

President Dalia Grybauskaitė and Lithuanian first Head of State Vytautas Landsbergis in their speeches mentioned increased international tension and renewed threats to our independence.

Later the flags of the three Baltic States were raised with participation of the Guard of Honour of the Lithuanian Armed Forces, Lithuanian, Estonian and Latvian military orchestras.

Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, the President of Iceland, which was the first country to recognize the Lithuania’s Independence attended the commemoration events as a special guest, as well parliament speakers of Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Poland, Moldova and Sweden.

After raising the three Baltic States flags a solemn march from the Independence to Cathedral Square started, followed by a solemn mass at the Vilnius Cathedral Basilica.

In the evening, festive concerts took place in the three biggest Lithuanian cities: Cathedral Square in Vilnius, Žalgirio Arena in Kaunas and Švyturio Arena in Klaipeda.

SHOTLIST

Shots of the march

Shots of the mass at the Cathedral

Soundbite (Lithuanian)

DALIA GRYBAUSKAITĖ, President of Lithuania:
Today that the rattling of arms is heard again, we need the same unity as a quarter of a century before, and again from the same direction. When firearms are used to stifle the voice of freedom. When not only the outside forces, but those inside make attempts of dividing us, belittling and fading the light of freedom.

Cutaway from Seimas

Soundbite (Lithuanian)

VYTAUTAS LANDSBERGIS, the first Head of State, Chairman of the Supreme Council of Lithuania (1990):