Greinasafn

2017
 »maí

 »apríl
 »mars
 »febrúar
 »janúar
2016
 »desember
 »nóvember
 »október
 »september
 »ágúst
 »júlí
 »júní
 »maí
 »apríl
 »mars
 »febrúar
 »janúar
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
2009
2008
2007
2006
2005
2004
2003
2002
2001
2000
1999
1998
1997
1996
1995
1994
1993
1992
1991
1990

Articles in English

14.9.2016
WHAT´S WRONG WITH EUROPE – AND WHY DON´T YOU FIX IT?

Read more

9.9.2016
WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM THE NORDIC MODEL?

Read more

31.3.2016
HOW TO SAVE CAPITALISM FROM THE CAPITALISTS - AND DEMOCRACY FROM THE PLUTOCRATS?

Read more

15.2.2016
The Transition from totalitarianism to democracy: WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM THE BALTIC ROAD TO FREEDOM AND POST-INDEPENDENCE EXPERIENCE?

Read more

10.2.2016
„SOLIDARITY OF SMALL NATIONS: UTOPIAN DREAM OR PRACTICAL POLITICS?

Read more

All articles in English

13.1.2011

YOU OWE IT TO THEM

Jón Baldvin er heiðursgestur Seimas (lítháiska þjóðþingsins) í dag.
Hér fer á eftir ræða hans við það tækifæri.

I.
How often haven´t we heard the high and mighty of this world pay lip service to the noble ideals of our western political heritage: Freedom, Equality, Solidarity, Democracy, National Self-Determination, the Rule of Law, - Justice for all.

This rhetoric undeniably obscures the fact that those high ideals have never been realized in human affairs – without struggle and sacrifice.

It has taken courageous individuals to wrestle what we now call “universal human rights” from the grip of power and privilege. Without courage those noble ideals will remain just that, noble – but unattainable – ideals.

We have come together here today to let ourselves be reminded of this simple fact of life. And to honour the memory of those courageous individuals who, twenty years ago to the day, sacrificed their lives for your freedom.

Blessed be their memory.

II.
When the high and mighty in the Kremlin had decided to crush your newborne freedom under the weight of their tanks, it took courage to face them – alone and unarmed.

When those tanks started rolling towards the TV-tower, in order to suppress your freedom of expression, it took courage for the defenders of freedom to stand in their way with nothing but the courage of their convictions to keep them upright and push them forward.

When those tanks pressed on it took courage to resist, with nothing to stop them but the living pulsating bodies of the defenders of freedom and their quiet resolve, which once was expressed in those unforgettable words: They shall not pass.

And when the perpetrators of injustice and violence started to falter and fail before the power of the people, unarmed, it was that rare moment in history – the moment of truth – when right prevails over might.

Let us therefore never forget that those courageous persons paid the price for your freedom with their lives. From that day onwards you owe it to them to make sure in all your endeavour, that their sacrifice was not made in vain.

And let us not forget, that during the dark days of occupation – from the deportations to the suppression of your cultural heritage to the daily hardship – it took courage to keep the flame of freedom alive.

III.
You therefore owe it to them never to let that flame be extinguished ever again.

You owe it to them to do everything in your power to preserve your hard-won freedom; and to prove, by your deeds, to their descendants and ours, that it was well deserved.

You owe it to them that free Lithuania shall always stand by the weak and oppressed in this world and speak up against the arrogance of the high and mighty – also when others dare not.

You owe it to them that the material wealth created by the toil of your people be justly distributed so that equality of opportunity shall be strictly secured without regard to economic means or social status. That way you will maximize freedom and enable everyone to take part in “the pursuit of happiness”.

You owe it to them to build a just society in Lithuania, in which it is guaranteed that the young, the sick, the disabled and the elderly are well taken care of and that nobody shall be left behind, forsaken and neglected, while others enjoy wealth and privileges.

All of this because you owe it to them to prove that their sacrifices were not made in vain.

IV.
Finally, dear friends, a few words of thanks.

When President Landsbergis called upon the foreign ministers of your neighbouring democracies to come to Vilnius, twenty years ago, to demonstrate their support for freedom, in your hour of peril, I had the good fortune to respond.

Never shall I forget those days: Holding hands, singings songs and looking you into your eyes – seeing the quiet determination of a nation unarmed – not to yield to brute force, never to surrender, whatever the cost, that was a lesson for a lifetime, for which I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Long live freedom!

Jón Baldvin Hannibalsson

Deila á Facebook

Skrifa ummæli

Nafn
Netfang
Skilaboð
Skráðu inn þetta orð
í þennan reit