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Military parade and thousands of observers marked the centenary of the re-established Lithuanian Armed Forces in Vilnius


Photo gallery  

Parade of the centenary of the re-established Lithuanian Armed Forces (video)

Speech of the President (video)

Speech of the Minister of National Defence (video)

Speech of the Chief of Defence  (video)


On November 24 a solemn formation and military equipment parade concluded the celebration marking the centenary of the re-established Lithuanian Armed Forces. The military parade put on display nearly 2.000 soldiers marching or driving military vehicles and can be called the largest military event in the history of independent Lithuania.


“I can state firmly that the Armed Forces are welcoming the centenary being stronger than ever since the establishment of the state. I am proud to see the Lithuanian Armed Forces growing stronger, its lines becoming more numerous, and support of the society further increasing. It is the result of your impeccable service and self-sacrifice,” Minister of National Defence Raimundas Karoblis said greeting the audience and participants.


The event was attended by top leadership of the state of Lithuania and the Lithuanian Armed Forces, distinguished guests from abroad, retired officers and soldiers, injured soldiers and their families. Thousands of residents and visitors of Vilnius gathered to observe.


“Insecure zones in the world keep expanding, so we have to keep strengthening Lithuania’s defence capabilities and compiling the resources we need. Temporary inconveniences on public roads, gunshot sounds in the vicinity of inhabited areas, supersonic fighter jet flights - it is the smallest price we are paying to deter the adversary and to know how to act professionally, precisely and operatively in the event of a need. Being ready to defend our land is the common cause of all of us. I am happy and grateful that the major part of our society understands it and supports the Lithuanian Armed Forces and our allies deployed here,” Chief of Defence of Lithuania Lieutenant General Jonas Vytautas Žukas said in the beginning of the solemn formation.


The event present military equipment of almost all Lithuanian Armed Forces services, including the most recent purchases of the Lithuanian Armed Forces – PzH2000 self-propelled artillery howitzers, Vilkas Infantry Fighting Vehicles, known as Boxer IFVs in the world. Commander of the Lithuanian Land Force Major General Valdemaras Rupšys was in command of the formation and the equipment parade.


The military equipment was transported back to its permanent deployment locations immediately after the event.


The Order of the Re-establishment of the Lithuanian Armed Forces was signed on 23 November 1918 and the date is marked as Lithuanian Armed Forces Day. Each year it is celebrated in various events across Lithuania.


Photo credits: Sgt Spc Ieva Budzeikaitė (1, 4, 5), Alfredas Pliadis (2, 3, 6, 7)

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