“Road of Life and Death” run organised by the Baltic Defence College

“Road of Life and Death” run organised by the Baltic Defence College

On 10th January, members of the directing staff and Lithuanian representatives organised the “Road of Life and Death” tribute run to commemorate the victims of the Soviet Union’s intervention in Lithuania on the 13th January 1991.

The participants met on a very cold Sunday morning at -18°C near the Anna canal to honour the victims of the military intervention in the capital of Lithuania 25 years ago. During a time when the world looked towards the development in the Middle East concerning the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and the upcoming operation Desert Storm, the Soviet Union did not accept Lithuania’s declaration of independence and militarily took over key installations. During that time, fourteen defenders of freedom lost their lives and many more got injured. In order to commemorate those victims and as a reminder that freedom is a valuable good, a tribute run over 9 km is annually organised in Vilnius.

Already for the third time, the Baltic Defence College hosted a similar event in Tartu. In his opening words Major General Vitalijus Vaikšnoras thanked the international participants from Azerbaijan, Estonia, Germany, Lithuania and the United States of America and underlined that taking part shows deep respect. The events and the braveness of those freedom defenders were important not only for Lithuania, but for the entire Baltic region and beyond. After a moment of silence, the Commandant opened the run and sent everyone on the three rounds around the Anne canal. After the run, the organisational team offered hot beverages and delicious snacks so the group could strengthen themselves and reflect on the event. Although the cold weather clearly left its mark, all participants enjoyed taking part, and were grateful for the experience and the good organisation.


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