News archive 2021

Living memory of 1st Lt Normundas Valteris in the hearts of younger generation

2021 12 18

On December 17, to mark the birth anniversary of 1st Lt Normundas Valteris, a graduate of General Jonas Žemaitis Military Academy of Lithuania (MAL), the community lit a candle at his memorial monument and shared warm memories and extended congratulations to Normundas and Lithuania.
“I will return, return, return,
Who said I was underground,
I just entitled my friend
To carry soldiers’ gun for myself“.
Today these verses of a poem written by 1st Lt Valteris have a completely different meaning, it is symbolic. This year marks 25 years since the explosion of anti-tank mines when 1st Lt Valteris and his Danish comrade perished in the international peacekeeping operation near the city of Maglaj, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Recalling his brother-in-arms, Col Darius Vaicikauskas, a comrade of 1st Lt Normundas Valteris in the same mission, considers the military community small but special. People do not always understand military humour that expresses so much about the difficult daily life of servicemen. They rarely reflect on difficult military tasks, intrinsic motivation, determination to properly perform the duties and the need to work together to fulfil them. Col Vaicikauskas said, “May this beautiful friendship matured by lead bullets and winding military roads keep the memory of Normundas alive both in Lithuania and Bosnia. The best way of giving meaning to Normundas’ birthday is the respect for his memory and vivid memories”.
To honour the memory of 1st Lt Normundas Valteris, Deputy Mayor of Maglaj Municipality Eldina Mehinagic initiated a school essay competition “Your Youth for Our Future”. The 6 best essays of the students of Maglaj Primary School and Edhem Mulabdić Secondary School received the presents of the Iron Wolf, Mechanized Infantry Brigade of the Lithuanian Armed Forces and Ministry of National Defence of the Republic of Lithuania. The organizers of the competition visited the site of the servicemen’s death and laid flowers for Normundas’ birthday.
We are glad that the memory of 1st Lt Normundas Valteris is alive in the hearts of both his friends and children, who can live in safety and create a new future. As a contestant Aldna wrote, the fate of the Lithiuanian soldier makes one think how much courage he had to go to Bosnia at that time, how strongly he believed in what he was doing and took an opportunity that could not be missed leaving the life to wait for him.
To paraphrase the poem, one can assume that the weapon was handed over to the locals. By sacrificing his life for the highest possible price, the Lithuanian serviceman contributed to the efforts of international community to ensure that the growing generation in Maglaj escapes the` war.
This year, a memorial stone was erected at the site of 1st Lt Normundas Valteris death near the city of Maglaj. The funds were collected by Lithuanian officers, 1st Lt Valteris’ comrades, and the MAL. The graduates of the Class 1 (1994), friends and comrades, who took part in the same peacekeeping mission along with 1st Lt Valteris, transported the stone and unveiled it with all due respect. As Col Darius Vaicikauskas called them, the Bosnian Seventh – Gediminas Antanaitis, Gintaras Jaloveckas, Nerijus Šileika, Vitalijus Kuznecovas, Algis Ramanauskas, Nerijus Kundrotas and Darius Vaicikauskas himself went there not only for the memorial stone, but also to honour their brother in arms Lithuanian officer who died for the freedom and the right of others to live in a free country as Lithuania is today.
Information and photo credit: Col Darius Vaicikauskas
Photo credit: Municipality of Maglaj