For the third year running over 150 Lithuanians and their friends living in Belgium participated in the commemorative run “The Road of Life and Death“ in Brussels. The tribute run stood out this year for the unusually high number of EU and NATO representatives who joined the commemoration.

Symbolically, the tribute run in Brussels coincided with the run in Vilnius dedicated to honor the victims of the events in 1991.

“We have to make an effort to defend it and cherish it today and every day, especially in the context of the current challenges we face,“ said Ambassador Jovita Neliupšienė.

The tribute run started with speeches by Lithuania’s ambassador to the EU Jovita Neliupšienė, the Ambassador of Lithuania in the Kingdom of Belgium Gediminas Varvuolis, Lithuanian permanent Ambassador to NATO Vytautas Leškevičius, the head of Lithuanian community in Belgium Arnoldas Pranckevičius, and the European Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis.

Lithuanian permanent Ambassador to NATO Vytautas Leškevičius reminded the participants of the fact that Lithuanians who defended their country in 1991 were unarmed - what they had was passion in their hearts and faith in the idea of independence.

The head of Lithuanian community in Belgium Arnoldas Pranckevičius emphasized the fact that the January shaped today’s Lithuania: a prospering and democratic country.

The speakers underlined the importance of freedom and urged to remember that liberty should not be taken for granted. The Ambassador of Lithuania in Belgium Gediminas Varvuolis expressed his happiness that every year the number of participants was increasing.

The runners could choose between the distances of 5km and 9 km from Park Cinquantenaire to the streets of Brussels leading to the Permanent Representation of Lithuania to the EU where they were rewarded with symbolic medals. At the same time, the exhibition of prominent Lithuanian photographer Romualdas Požerskis entitled “Lithuania 1988-1993“ opened.

The tribute run „The Road of Life and Death“ was organized by the Permanent Representation of Lithuania to the European Union, the Embassy of Lithuania in the Kingdom of Belgium, the Permanent Delegation of Lithuania to NATO and the Lithuanian community in Belgium.

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