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30TH BALTIC WAY ANNIVERSARY COMMEMORATION IN TALLINN
On August 23rd a number of events in Tallinn marked the 30th Anniversary of the Baltic Way. In the morning, a column of Lithuanian cars emblazoned with the flags of the three Baltic States and a special national attribute, started their Baltic Way from the Tall Hermann Tower to Vilnius. Ambassador of Lithuania to Estonia Giedrius Apuokas and representative of Tallinn Municipality Vladimir Svet welcomed the participants of “Jeep Club Lithuania” car trip and the Lithuanian community in Estonia gathered to farewell ceremony. During the ceremony, the flags of Tallinn were handed over for the participants.
On the occasion of the 30th Anniversary of the Baltic Way, the Ambassadors of Lithuania and Latvia to Estonia, together with the Tallinn Municipality, hosted a reception at the City Hall. Guests were welcomed by Tallinn Mayor Mihhail Kõlvart, Lithuanian Ambassador Giedrius Apuokas and Latvian Ambassador Raimonds Janson. At the reception, a legendary Baltic Way song “The Baltics are Waking up” was performed live by the harps.
Musicians from three Baltic countries, including Lithuanian folk jazz band “Folk Trio” (vocalist Ineta Meduneckytė Tamošiūnienė, accordionist Nerijus Bakula and saxophonist Jan Maksimovič), who were invited to Tallinn by the Embassy of Lithuania to Estonia, performed at the main Freedom Square in Tallinn.
The 30th Anniversary of the Baltic Way marks the 80th Anniversary of the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, which led to the occupation and annexation of the Baltic States. On this occasion, Giedrius Apuokas, Ambassador of Lithuania to Estonia, gave a speech at the Maarjamäe Memorial to the Victims of Communism in Tallinn. The ceremony was also attended by Estonian Minister of Defence Jüri Luik, Estonian Minister of Justice Raivo Aeg and Latvian Ambassador to Estonia Raimonds Jansons.
In the evening of August 23rd in honour of the 30th Anniversary of the Baltic Way Lithuanian community in Estonia together with the Embassy of Lithuania to Estonia organized a concert in the courtyard of the Embassy’s premises. As it is appropriate for the anniversary celebration, it was extraordinary: guests enjoyed the unique sound of “Folk Trio” that combined Lithuanian folklore and jazz music, and waited patiently to welcome the column of “Jeep Club Lithuania” cars. Car trip participants reached the Embassy around the midnight and were pleased to see a warm welcome and handed to the Embassy gifts and flags of Lithuania and Vilnius.
The 30th Anniversary of the Baltic Way was crowned by greeting ceremony of the runners of the Lithuanian Amateur Runners Association (LBMA). The XXVIII International Relay Running Race “Baltic Way” was held on August 23-25 and a group of cyclists and the representatives of the Lithuanian Association of People with Disabilities with specially constructed wheelchairs joined the race this year. Endurance and determination of the participants once again reminded us of a unique historic event when in 1989 over 2 million people of the three Baltic nations formed a living chain that extended for about 670 km from Vilnius to Tallinn and expressed the willingness to restore the freedom and independence of their countries.