Important dates in Lithuanian history commemorated in different parts of the world
On 23 August, Lithuanians living abroad commemorated the Black Ribbon Day and the Baltic Way or the Baltic Chain, when 26 years ago freedom seekers joined their hands to form a human chain spanning across Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.
On 23 August, representatives of Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian communities organised an informal solidarity campaign to commemorate the Baltic Way and raised state flags of the three Baltic nations in front of London’s Marble Arch. The participants of the campaign remembered the spirit of the August of 1989 and took a family photo.
This year the participants of the event wore yellow ribbons to support Eston Kohver, an officer with Estonia’s internal security service, who was illegally jailed by Russia.
“In 1989, the Baltic Chain demonstrated to the world that the maps of Europe, which were cynically redrawn, would not survive for long. Today, as we commemorate the 26th anniversary of the Baltic Way, we remain united and call for the immediate release of the Estonian officer who is illegally jailed by Russia,” said the Ambassador of Lithuania in the United Kingdom Asta Skaisgirytė.
The Embassy of Lithuania to the United States of America together with Latvian and Estonian diplomatic missions and communities marked the Black Ribbon Day and the 76th anniversary of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact at the Communism Memorial in Washington, D.C. on 23 August.
“We have gathered here today, because this day cannot be forgotten. We believe in freedom and we have to remember and remind others about it in order to prevent this from happening again,” said the Ambassador of Lithuania to the U.S.A. Rolandas Kriščiūnas.
The Embassy of Lithuania in Paris organised a commemorative event, which was attended by representatives of the Lithuanian community in France, the Embassy’s staff and other guests. On the occasion of the commemoration, the Kaunas folklore ensemble Žaisa gave a concert, presented the Lithuanian folk costume, a melodious folk song and dance repertoire to the guests of the Embassy in Paris.
On 23 August, the Embassy of Lithuania to Estonia Neilas Tankevičius met with participants of the 24th international relay The Baltic Way. The Ambassador highlighted the importance of the traditional relay event that had been organised for a number of years for the preservation and fostering of the memory of the historical Baltic Way. The Ambassador presented certificates of acknowledgement to the participants of the relay, thanking for their personal contribution to the strengthening of the unity and independence of the Baltic States.
The Ambassador of Lithuania to Latvia Ričardas Degutis and representatives of the Lithuanian community welcomed the participants, runners and cyclists of the relay The Baltic Way at the Freedom Monument in Riga on 22 August. Together they paid tribute to the memory of freedom fighters by laying flowers at the monument and united in silence to honour them.
The commemorative event of the Lithuanian community in São Paulo, Brazil, was also attended by representatives of Latvian and Ukrainian communities. The chair of the Ukrainian community shortly briefed the participants on the country’s difficult political situation. The participants of the event commemorated the path of the Baltic nations to freedom and wished lots of strength to Ukraine.
Source: The Lithuanian Foreign Ministry | Photos: Commemorative events in London, São Paulo, Tallinn, Paris and Riga.