I was just a kiddo, when history was happening all around me. As a second grader I’ve witnessed Lithuania declare it’s independence and its subsequent struggle to maintain this freedom as a Soviet monster wasn’t yet ready to let us off the hook.
14 sacrifices of the fateful and scary night of January 13th, 1991, when Soviet soldiers opened fire on unarmed civilians gathered at the TV tower. The night when the Singing revolution was dyed with blood. The night when unarmed Nation has won its first victory against AKs and tanks, and said loud and clear to the whole world – Thank you, now get the hell outta here, ’cause we’re not backin’ off. When a whole Nation as one said – We stick with our Independence.
While I wasn’t at any of the freedom barricades in person (duh, I was a kid after all), I remember the charged atmosphere of those days. Excitement. Anxiety. Unwavering resolve to stay true to the chosen path of freedom in everyone’s voices and faces. And this unbelievable sense of unity. It was so powerful that even the sight of tanks and soldiers in my very neighborhood wasn’t scary or powerful enough to dilute it in any way.
I know the price we’ve payed for the Freedom. I’ve seen the tanks. I’ve seen the soldiers. I’ve heard the shots fired. I’ve been to the funeral of those who were slain on that night. And I’ve witnessed the weakness of the regime when faced with the unity and unwavering determination of a whole Nation to overthrow it.
I remember Whom to Thank for the Freedom. And I thank each and every one of these Heroes who stood guard of it – unarmed and only with hearts ablaze against the heavily armed soldiers and the whole Soviet regime.