Y. E. President of the Republic of Lithuania,
Dear Members of the Seimas and the Government,
Signatories to the Act of Independence,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Welcome to the Independence Square to rekindle our memories on
this significant day and to rejoice at the fact we live in an independent
Lithuania for18 years now.
This symbolic site near the
Buildings of Parliament is the place where the restitution of an independent Lithuania was first
declared, and we can always feel the spirit of freedom here, embodied in our prayers and the national anthem. The freedom was defended by
barricades and preserved in our hearts. I have no doubt, that the nation who
succeeded in preserving a spirit of freedom
will never refuse genuine independence.
Our national flag has just
been hoisted full mast. The raising of the flag is a sign of victory. It signifies the victory of the state and the nation in
the fight for its right to live. We
take pride in our flag, because thousands of Lithuanians have offered their
lives for the opportunity we now have to openly show respect to this symbol of
statehood. Let us remember those who perished in the fight for freedom, died in
exile, and passed away in prisons. Let us observe a minute of silence to pay
tribute to them.
In our celebration we are joined
by our nearest neighbours who had also fought for their freedom and know its
genuine price. They are represented by the military orchestras and the troops
of the companies of the Latvian and Estonian Honorary Guard. Thank you for
coming to the anniversary of our state. I am also grateful to all our foreign
guests, who deliberately came to attend to this celebration and to the
permanent representatives of foreign countries in Lithuania for being with us
on this significant day.
I sincerely congratulate all the people of Lithuania, irrespective of
whether they have assembled in this square or celebrate the occasion at home,
and regardless of whether they are in Lithuania or abroad.
Most importantly, we should all
strive to cherish and develop our genuine spirit of patriotism and allegiance