“Armed Forces and society unity day that has been celebrated since the interwar period and also honours the heroic deeds of the “war after war” partisans has more importance today than ever before. Immortalisation of the heroic sacrifice of partisans for a free Lithuania is one of the pillars of civil awareness and patriotism in the times of information warfare,” Minister of National Defence Raimundas Karoblis says. Minister and Chief of Defence of Lithuania Lt Gen Valdemaras Rupšys honoured Lithuanian partisans and partisan commanders today, May 15, thus starting the traditional commemoration of Partisan Honouring, Public and Military Unity Day.
“Deeds and sacrifice of partisans stand as an example and inspiration for the contemporary soldiers of Lithuania. We are feeling immense respect to those who believed in a free Lithuania and fought for it. Attention of the society to the merits of partisans in the fight for Lithuania’s freedom and honouring of their memory matters because it supports our fighting spirit and strengthens the confidence in our ability to win against even a stronger enemy,” Chief of Defence of Lithuania Lt Gen V. Rupšys says.
Minister of National Defence Raimundas Karoblis and Chief of Defence of Lithuania Lt Gen Valdemaras Rupšys with the Guard of Honour laid flower wreaths at the monument for 16 February 1949 Declaration signatory, Chairman of the Council of the Lithuanian Liberation Movement, the 4th President of Lithuania, Partisan General Jonas Žemaitis-Vytautas in front of the Ministry of National Defence, and paid tribute to the signatory of the 16 February 1949 Declaration of the Council of the Lithuanian Liberation Movement, Commander of the Lithuanian Liberation Movement Army, and head of state of Lithuania who resisted the Soviet occupation, Adolfas Ramanauskas-Vanagas, and the last partisan of Aukštaitija region, knight of the Order of the Cross of Vytis, volunteer Antanas Kraujelis – Siaubūnas at Antakalnis Cemetery.
The heroism of Lithuanian partisans is commemorated across Lithuania this week: soldiers of National Defence Volunteer Force Territorial Units are paying respect to commanders, partisans, their supporters and signallers of the Lithuanians Freedom Fights and “war after war” period in 35 commemorative sites of their death or reburial.
Partisan Honouring, Public and Military Unity Day is celebrated on the third weekend of May, it is a successor of Armed Forces and Society Coming Together Day. It was initiated by a small group of representatives of the armed forces and public organisations in 1935. The traditions was revived when Lithuania became independent and the celebration takes place on the third weekend of May in different cities and towns of Lithuania. The celebration that has been moved to digital space because of the coronavirus pandemic was planned to take place in Marijampolė.