Address by Viktoras Pranckietis, Speaker of the Seimas, at the solemn commemoration of Independence Restoration Day in the Seimas
Press release, 11 March 2017
Photo of the Office of the Seimas (author Olga Posaškova)
Your Excellency President of the Republic of Lithuania, Prime Minister, President Valdas Adamkus,
President of the Supreme Council – Reconstituent Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania,
Signatories to the Act of Independence,
Colleagues, Members of the Government and the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania,
Distinguished guests and participants of the solemn commemoration,
Let us observe a minute of silence to pay our tribute to fighters for and contributors to Lithuania’s Independence who are no longer with us today.
For many years before the independence, we believed the day we celebrate today would dawn. This year, 11 March marks the beginning of the 28th year of our restored independence. It seems so long ago we followed the March 1990 events and the decisions taken by the Supreme Council – Reconstituent Seimas. Well, maybe it was not so long ago, after all.
Lithuania now is a sustainable and independent state.
We need to appreciate, remember and preserve the past experience and achievements. All those who sought independence are watching us closely. They include participants of the fights for the cause of independence, signatories to the Act of Independence of 16 February 1918, volunteers, partisans, deportees and resistance movement members as well as signatories to the Act of Independence of 11 March 1900 assembled here. We are grateful to all of them for our freedom and independence.
Preservation of freedom and preservation of independence should be a daily concern. What is the state of play in our country today? Where do we want to see Lithuania tomorrow, or after another 27 years? What changes are badly needed? What sustainable steps are not to be postponed? We need to find the answers already today and prepare new answers to these questions for the future.
It is spring time, the day of 40 birds, an invitation to purge and toil. And this is not just about words or slogans. Everyone in Lithuania is looking forward to having a decent life, where work and desire to contribute to the public good as a citizen is highly appreciated.
Our people have a lot of determination and potential and are talented and hard-working. They are raising high standards and expect trust and confidence in return. They include all of us together. We are willing to make a serious contribution to the state-building efforts in our own state.
The spring is a season of expectations. Our homeland expects us to be responsible and serve our country. Where do we want to see Lithuania 20 or 50 years ahead? What would Grand Duke Gediminas write in his letters to Europe, should he be doing this nowadays? Will we manage to preserve the invaluable sense of identity, communal peace and mutual respect, the feelings only our native land can give? Confidence in Lithuania can stem from factors beyond pure economic wellbeing. The actions, hopes and dreams of all the past and present inhabitants of our land, be it Lithuanians, Poles, Jews, Russians, Ukrainians, Tatars, Belarusians, Karaits, Latvians, Estonians, or others, are indelibly associated with Lithuania. In the interests of our land, in the interests of our common future and prosperity, let us join our efforts to improve and develop.
Congratulations to all on the 28th Day of Restoration of Independence!