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"Welcome LITHUANIA of the New Age!" President greeted people of Lithuania and guests on the occasion of the Millennium

Monday, July 6, Vilnius - On the occasion of the King Mindaugas Crowning Day, President of the Republic of Lithuania Valdas Adamkus addressed the visiting monarchs and presidents of European states, Lithuanian people and quests, gathered on the Daukanto Square to commemorate the Millennium of the Name of Lithuania.

President Adamkus started his address with the following words: "In 1009, five letters were written by the hand of a convent nun: LITUA. These letters signified the name of Lithuania - a name that arrived as news from the fringes of the world discovered and incorporated into European history by Christian missionaries. A woman from Saxony inscribed a passage which has led to today's celebration of the Millennium of Lithuania with its capital city of Vilnius serving as the European Capital of Culture in this jubilee year."

The President of Lithuania underlined that the birth of a nation, like the birth of a person, is symbolized by a name. The emergence of the name of Lithuania witnesses the historical beginnings of a political community and national self-awareness. According to the President, Lithuania, then and today, is not just a territorial area - it is its people who are aware of belonging to one single nation. This awareness is conveyed not only inside the country, but also through its links with the outside world, which make us richer in knowledge and spirit.

"Therefore, when we celebrate the Millennium of Lithuania, we are celebrating our millennium in EUROPE," President Adamkus said, mentioning the First Statute of Lithuania (1529), the establishment of the Vilnius University (1579), the Constitution of Lithuania and Poland (1791), which is Europe's first constitution, and the Baltic Way (1989) symbolizing the freedom loving spirit of the Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian people.

The head of State pointed out that from the times of King Mindaugas to January 13, Lithuania had faced many challenges and lost many lives. However, as the President put it, in critical moments our true values would be always placed at the forefront and we would always know what was of utmost importance to all of us.

"But in all times, the impelling force of our survival was spiritual strength and solidarity with other nations," Mr. Adamkus underlined.

The President noted that today, as he compared the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, which covered a huge territory in Europe, with the European Union, he believed that they were spiritually close formations. President Adamkus underlined that genuine full-fledged existence meant people living among people, nations living among other nations, and states coexisting with other states.

"It means searching for compromises when different interests have to be brought together, but never giving in when addressing fundamental time-tested values. And FREEDOM is the key value. Today Lithuania is happy to celebrate its jubilee together with neighbors and friends," the President of Lithuania said.

President Adamkus expressed deep respect to all those who have always been, and are, protecting and creating Lithuania.

"Welcome LITHUANIA of the New Age!" the President greeted the state, crossing the threshold of a new historical era, and all people of Lithuania, and all guests who came to celebrate together as we were opening the door to the second millennium.

Press Service of the President


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