President Dalia Grybauskaitė

Lithuanian army celebrating its centenary stands as a role model of courage and resolve

2018-11-24

Saturday, November 24, Vilnius – President Dalia Grybauskaitė watched a military parade marking the centenary of the Lithuanian Armed Forces. Marching in the formation were also soldiers from allied nations. It was the largest ever military parade held after Lithuania’s re-independence.

In her speech of congratulations to the Lithuanian troops, the President underlined that their resolve to serve and defend Lithuania resonated with the heroism of our military who have travelled a long and distinguished path from volunteer units to modern armed forces.

The President wished the servicemen and servicewomen to be strong as they walked together with Lithuania on the path of new centenary of independence. Today’s parade sent a message to the world that we stood ready to defend our homeland, freedom and shared values – no matter what effort it took.

“We are proud of unity among Lithuanian and allied forces! It is great to see a multitude of national flags flying along with the Lithuanian tricolor,” the President said. “The Lithuanian army made the shield of democracy stronger on both sides of the Atlantic, it gave hope to our Ukrainian brothers and sisters in their struggle for freedom.”

Taking part in the parade were 1800 troops and nearly 80 military vehicles from Lithuania ans 27 allied and partner countries: Albania, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Spain, Italy, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Croatia, Latvia, Poland, Luxembourg, Moldova, Norway, the Netherlands, Portugal, France, Georgia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Finland, Sweden, Ukraine, Hungary, and Germany.

Displayed at the military parade was a U.S. Patriot long-range air defence system, German Leopard 2 battle tanks, and Polish fighter jets F-16 performing a flypast together with the Royal Belgian Air Force currently on patrol of the Baltic skies.  

The first Lithuanian military parade was held in Vilnius Town Hall Square on 16 February 1919. Subsequent parades took place in Kaunas. Taking part in them were infantry and cavalry soldiers, aviators and artillery crews, cadets and navy sailors from Klaipėda.

The first military parade in re-independent Lithuania was held in Kaunas after 50 years of Soviet occupation on 23 November 1990.

Press Service of the President

Last updated 2018.11.24 14:07

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