News archive 2020

Unity and love for Lithuania at the bonfires of independence

2020 03 11

On March 10, the cadets of General Jonas Žemaitis Military Academy of Lithuania (MAL) held a traditional evening of songs and memories The Bonfires of March 11 on the historic Stalo Hill at Kalnų Park. The main idea of the celebration was to encourage people to appreciate freedom, unity and patriotism not only in personal life but in the whole of the state that celebrates the 30th anniversary of restoration of independence this year. Inspired by the idea, the cadets lit the first bonfire 11 years ago and since then more and more people gather to celebrate the independence of Lithuania.
“We are working to ensure that everyone feels a part of a close society, foster love for Lithuania and enjoy a memorable evening,” said the cadets.
This year, the biggest celebration marking the anniversary with three big bonfires invited people to listen to the music and talk about state defence and the role of the society. In his welcome address, Commandant of the MAL Colonel Juozas Kačergius said that even the smallest deeds, such as participation in patriotic celebrations and showing respect to the national flag and other symbols of independence evoke patriotic feelings of the youths who can move mountains for their country. “I am very pleased to see such a big crowd of people who came here to spend time together and once again experience our unity and be a part of it,” said the Commandant.
The authors of the idea Captains Daugirdas Antulis, Alminas Sinevičius and Algirdas Navasaitis started the event 11 years ago. “We came up with the idea of a bonfire watch as a symbol of independence to be passed on to the first-year cadets. We marched from the MAL to the hill with songs. Later on, the cadets also marched with the flag and hung it at the entrance of the MAL upon their return demonstrating the waving symbol of independence. Now it is an event for all of us as well as a common concern for the independence of Lithuania,” they recall.
The event was attended by servicemen, cadets, cadets’ rock band Vytis, musicians, fire jugglers and other performers. It lasted till midnight when the servicemen retook their oath with all the willing welcome to join. Afterwards, everybody sang the national anthem. The bonfires made by cadets became a symbol of wait, watch and loyalty for Lithuania, a symbol that brought together and reminded of it 30 years ago.
Photo credit: Eimantas Genys