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Having defended our Freedom eighteen years ago, we will manage to appreciate its value once again today, in the face of new difficulties, says the President

Tuesday, January 13, Vilnius - Today President of the Republic of Lithuania Valdas Adamkus participated in the events dedicated to the commemoration of the Defenders of Freedom Day.

The Head of State attended a solemn meeting in the Seimas and a State Flag hoisting ceremony in the Independence Square. Later the President went to the Antakalnis Cemetery to lay flowers at the Memorial to Victims of the January 13th events.

On the occasion of the Defenders of Freedom Day, President Adamkus awarded Commemorative Medals of 13th January to Lithuanians who defended Lithuania's freedom and independence.

The Head of State underlined the 1991 events had mobilized people and made them feel a truly united and mature community, a nation committed to defending its Freedom in the face of a deadly threat, to sacrificing themselves and withstanding the attempts of the enemies of Independence to sow discord and to ruin the process of building the state and the civil society.

"The whole Lithuania joined this moral battle against humiliating oppression and the pre-planned discord-sowing. We stood hand in hand as equal solders and children of Lithuania and Sąjūdis," the President said during the awards ceremony.

According to the President, the unity of the nation and our common efforts, our belief in the ideals and values of Freedom have helped us to resist the economic pressure under the cover of which attempts were being made to push Lithuania back into one of the enslaved nations.

As noted by the President, a new generation of Lithuanians has grown up over these eighteen years since the bloody January events. The 13th of January has entered history and the dust of time may gradually cover its remembrance. According to President Adamkus, today many witnesses of those days feel undeservedly left alone in the struggle against hardship and problems, and the lessons of unity, togetherness and solidarity learnt in the years of the revival of the State quickly pass into silence although only two decades have passed since then.

"But I strongly believe that deep in their hearts Lithuanian people will keep these important values that have infused the nation with the spirit of vitality and Freedom. Because what has been defended by blood will never lose value. All difficulties and trials, political and economic challenges fade away in front of the ideals which led Lithuanian volunteers, our parents and grandparents along the path to the Freedom of our Homeland. Having defended our Freedom eighteen years ago, we will manage to appreciate its value once again today, in the face of new difficulties," the President said.

Press Service of the President

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