The Hoover Institution's newest exhibition, Revolutions in Eastern Europe: The Rise of Democracy, 1989-1990, features several images of Lithuania's role.
The U.S. House of Representatives passed May 22 H.R. 4435, the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which included an amendment by Congressman John Shimkus (R-IL) aimed at recognizing the victims of Soviet Communist and Nazi regimes and designating August 23 as the “Black Ribbon Day”.
Lithuania's Ministry of Defense seeks to gather information about Lithuanians by birth or by origin that fought and distinguished themselves in the military forces of other countries and were rewarded signs of recognition since year of 1795 until nowadays.
I once asked my boss, Rita Dapkute, several years after we both worked at the Lithuanian Parliament in the Press Office (Information Bureau) during the period when Lithuania was trying to break away from the Soviet Union, “What event was more scary? January 13, 1991 or the 1991 August Coup?” Both events saw Soviet tanks approach the Vilnius Parliament in the attempt to seize it—and Rita experienced both while barricaded in the Parliament building.
Twenty-three years ago tonight, I got a call at 1 a.m., ET. It was my older sister giving me the first, terrible news of the Soviet massacre of unarmed Lithuanian civilians at the Vilnius TV Tower—the single bloodiest event of the non-violent “Singing Revolution” through which Lithuania regained its independence. Below are memories of that fateful night from Lithuanian immigrant and Beardstown resident Irena S., who was not at the Tower, but at another building that Soviet forces took that winter night, attacking and overrunning thousands of patriotic citizens who had left the warmth and safety of their homes to stand in defense of their country and their human rights.
You might have noticed Lithuanian celebrities and politicians wearing blue flower pins over the past few days. Allow us to explain what they're all about.
On January 13th, Lithuania will mark the 23th anniversary of the Day of the Defenders of Freedom.
On this day in 1991, unarmed Lithuania struggled for its right to be a free, independent and proud country. 14 people were killed, about 1000 were injured as the Soviet occupation army and the KGB attempted to overthrow the legitimate government of the country and to seize the Lithuanian national radio and television building, the TV tower and publishing houses. The people of Lithuania demonstrated their inner strength, they defeated the Soviet aggression and defended their freedom in the spirit of truth and love.
We will never forget that tragic day. The anniversary of January 13 is a day of history, emotion, and reflection for most Lithuanians wherever they live. Over the last twenty-plus-years, this day has also come to symbolize the resilience, kindness, and unity of the Lithuanian people.
Horrors of the Soviet terror are often missing in literature and history classrooms in American education. At least that is what one member of Conservative Teachers of America group thinks after reading a novel by Ruta Šepetys Between Shades of Gray.