- March 11, 2018
Poles march on Lithuania’s Independence Day
Several thousand people marched on Gediminas Avenue on Lithuania’s Independence Day. Traditionally, Poles attended the march with Polish and Lithuanian flags.
“We must be here. Four Poles signed up under the Act of Independence of Lithuania on March 11, 1990. Four signatories were Polish, so we must be here together with our brothers Lithuanians, because this is our holiday – the birthday of our homeland”, said to zw.lt Alexander Radczenko from the Polish Discussion Club.
The Polish Discussion Club has been inviting Lithuanian Poles to join the informal initiative of an apolitical march on Giedymin Avenue for several years.
Polish participants of the march were welcomed by the members of the Parliament of the Republic of Poland: Tadeusz Aziewicz (Civic Platform), Tomasz Latos (Law and Justice) and Jerzy Meysztowicz (Modern).
Among others, Dariusz Żybort, Adam Błaszkiewicz and Czesław Okińczyc marched under Polish flags. They have been joined also by Lithuanian translator Leonardas Vilkas and writer Herkus Kunčius.
“This is the day of the rebirth of the state in which we live. And it is to become our holiday if it is not for someone yet. That is why I encourage young people being myself here every year”, said to zw.lt Adam Błaszkiewicz, director of John Paul II Gymnasium, who came with a group of students and a history teacher, Wiktor Łozowski.
“I’m attending the march for the third time. I am Polish and a citizen of Lithuania, that is why I am here” – emphasized teacher Halina Borawska.
There were also guests from Poland. “I feel guilty that I did not attend the 100th anniversary of Lithuania’s independence on February 16. It seems to me that March 11 is an important date, although this year there is no round anniversary, but since the chairmen of the Latvian, Estonian or Icelandic Parliaments have arrived, it means that the holiday has its own rank”, said to zw.lt Tomasz Otocki, journalist of “Przegląd Bałtycki”.
On March 11, 1990, four Poles signed up under the Act of Independence: Zbigniew Balcewicz, Medard Czobot, Romuald Rudzys and Czesław Okińczyc.
Translated by Katarzyna Kądziołka within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.