Thirty years ago, on 11 March 1990, Lithuania was reborn as an independent and democratic country. Celebration of the 30th anniversary of restored Lithuania’s independence on March 11 will be joined by personnel of NATO allies deployed in Lithuania and military bands from Estonia and Latvia, along with the National Defence leadership, Lithuanian soldiers, cadets of the Military Academy of Lithuania, and the Lithuanian Riflemen’s Union. They will participate in the ceremony of hoisting the Baltic states’ flags in Independence Square, march to the Cathedral Square, and join the people of Lithuania in the Road of Re-establishing Independence march with the Lithuanian tricolour down Gediminas Avenue.
The NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battalion Battle Group (eFP BG) which is currently formed by military personnel from 8 NATO allies – Germany, Belgium, Czech Republic, Iceland, Croatia, Luxembourg, Netherlands, and Norway – will be represented by a group of servicemembers of all the forming countries at the celebration. The NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battalion Battle Group is based in Rukla and integrated into the Lithuanian Armed Forces Mechanised Infantry Brigade Iron Wolf. Germany is the framework Nation of the NATO eFP BG deployed in Lithuania since early 2017 for deterrence and defence purposes. 9 thousand allied troops have already rotated through the NATO eFP BG training alongside Lithuanian counterparts over this time.
The celebration will also be attended by soldiers of the 1st Cavalry Battalion of the 9th Regiment, 1st Division, U.S. Army, that are deployed in Lithuania since last autumn. Their presence in Lithuania is a critical factor of deterrence and a constituent part of NATO security efforts in the Baltic region.
NATO fighter aircraft policing the Baltic airspace are planned to send congratulations to Lithuania on March 11 with a flypast over Vilnius. The Belgian Air Force Detachment with one of the most cutting-edge F-16s is currently in charge of the NATO Air Policing Mission launched in the Baltic states in March 2004 when Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia became members of NATO. The Baltic states do not possess fighter aircraft capability, therefore it is provided by NATO allies.
Armed Forces Bands of Estonia and Latvia will give a joint concert “Wind of Freedom” with the Lithuanian Armed Forces Band in the Cathedral Square after the march.
Programme of the Re-establishment of Independence celebration
March 10, Tuesday
Laying flower tribute at the Act of Independence signatories graves, Antakalnis Cemetery, Vilnius.
Laying flower tribute at the Act of Independence signatories graves in Joniškis, Kaunas, Kelmė, Kėdainiai, Klaipėda, Pakruojis, Palanga, Plungė, Šilutė, Vilnius Karveliškės Cemetery.
An event of singing songs and sharing memories by a bonfire on the historical “Stalo” hill is organised by The Cadets Council of the General Jonas Žemaitis Military Academy of Lithuania to mark the Re-establishment of Independence.
March 11, Wednesday
Laying flower tribute at the March 11 Memorial “Message” in Independence Square in Vilnius.
1000hrs Oath ceremony of the young Lithuanian riflemen in the square in front of the Ministry of National Defence, then – marching to Independence Square down Gediminas Avenue.
Ceremony of hoisting the three Baltic states’ flags in Independence Square with participation of the Lithuanian Armed Forces Honour Guard Company, Armed Forces Bands of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia, and flag groups.
Solemn parade of the Lithuanian Armed Forces Honour Guard Company and the Armed Forces Bands of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia from Independence Square to the Cathedral Square.
Road of Re-establishing Independence march carrying the Lithuanian tricolour down Gediminas Avenue.
Holy Mass at Vilnius Archcathedral Basilica.
Joint “Wind of Freedom” concert of the Lithuanian Armed Forces Band and the Armed Forces Bands of Estonia and Latvia
“22.44 Lithuanian time” in Independence Square
Firework show “Re-established independence turns 30”
March 11, Wednesday, Kaunas
Hoisting the Order of the Cross of Vytis flag and commemoration at Vytautas the Great Museum yard in Kaunas and a concert, participation of members of Kaunas Garrison soldiers.
March 11d, Wednesday, Elektrėnai
The 8th Territorial Unit of the DIdžioji Kova Military District of the National Defence Volunteer Force will celebrate their 29th anniversary and the re-establishment of independence of Lithuania.
1000 – 1050hrs Holy Mass at the Church of Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of Martyrs in Elektrėnai (Resurrection Squre 1);
1050 – 1100hrs Laying flower tribute for fallen Lithuanian partisans at the Church of Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of Martyrs in Elektrėnai (Resurrection Squre 1);
1100 – 1130hrs Military parade in the streets of Elektrėnai (Draugystės str. – Rungos str.);
1200 – 1240hrs Solemn formation of soldiers and commemoration of Re-establishment of Lithuania’s Independence Day in Centenary of Re-establishment of Lithuania’s Statehood Square of Elektrėnai community (Rungos str. 5);
1100-1330hrs Presentation of the National Defence Volunteer Force, static display of military equipment in Centenary of Re-establishment of Lithuania’s Statehood Square (Rungos str. 5);
1330-1400hrs Commemorative event to mark the re-establishment of Independence at Elektrėnai Cultural Centre (Draugystės str. 2);
1400-1530hrs Cultural programme at Elektrėnai Cultural Centre (Draugystės str. 2);