Lithuania’s Independence Day Celebration 2013
Feb. 16 is the date traditionally commemorated as Lithuania’s Independence Day, first declared in 1918. This year we waited until Feb.24th to celebrate, in order to welcome the Lithuanian Consul-General Marijus Gudynas from Chicago as our guest speaker. The day’s activities began with a tour of the Wisconsin Capitol, led by Capitol guide and MVSC past president, Daina Zemliauskas Juozevicius. Cons. Gudynas, with his family, joined in the tour, then returned to the beautiful Assembly Parlor for a formal program, begun with the singing of the Lithuanian National Anthem and a performance by Zaibutis Youth Dancers of Baraboo. MVSC president Deidre Vincevineus read a proclamation in honor of Vasario 16 from Secretary of State John Kerry and Sally Miley presented greetings from Mayor Soglin and the city of Madison, which has enjoyed a Sister Cities relationship with Vilnius since 1989. Sally and cons. Gudynas exchanged gifts, with the city of Madison receiving a bottle of 3 Nines, a potent liquor used by women medicinally but, as the consul said, turned to other uses by men. The consul’s speech, reported the next day in the Wisconsin State Journal, explained to the Americans in our audience the significance of Feb. 16, then described the achievements of the “young” country in the 23 years since the restoration of independence in 1991, as well as agenda plans for the European Union, when its presidency is goes to Lithuania’s President Dalia Grybauskaite. The audience of over 60 people were not only interested in the consul’s speech but charmed by his lovely family, especially the scene-stealing youngest daughter. The program ended with the showing of a fascinating and moving documentary called Trajectory of Freedom that followed Lithuania’s path from domination to freedom over the 20th century, with original footage from every decade.
To read the article in the State Journal , click here.
Event pictures by Paulius Musteikis you can see here.