Lithuania’s former President Valdas Adamkus is awarded the Truman-Reagan Medal of Freedom in Washington, DC
On 14 November, the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation organized a conference and a Triumph of Liberty Gala Dinner to remember all victims of tyranny and to celebrate the heroes of liberty in Washington, DC.
During the event, the former President of Lithuania Valdas Adamkus was honored with the Truman-Reagan Medal of Freedom along with the other two Baltic freedom advocates – the Latvian MEP and author Sandra Kalniete, and the Estonian MEP and founder of the Estonian National Independence Party Tunne Kelam.
V. Adamkus was unable to attend the gala event in Washington, DC, so he sent a video message to the guests of the event. In his welcome speech, V. Adamkus highlighted the dedication and courage of the people of Lithuania to struggle against communism and the Soviet occupation, and thanked the Lithuanian diaspora in the United States for its extraordinary role in the struggle for freedom and democracy.
“The Truman-Reagan Medal of Freedom encapsulates my life journey in the most symbolic way, but it is Truman-Reagan ideals which have inspired me and continue inspiring generations” said Valdas Adamkus. He thanked the U.S. for its policy of non-recognition of the forcible incorporation of the Baltic states into the Soviet Union and the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation for its meaningful work.
The event was also attended by Rasa Juknevičienė, Member of the Seimas of Lithuania, President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, Žygimantas Pavilionis, Chairman of the Seimas Subcommittee on Transatlantic Relations and Democratic Development of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and the Lithuanian Honorary Consul Jonas Prunskis.
The U.S. President Donald Trump officially declared the National Day for the Victims of Communism on 7 November. According to the presidential message, more than 100 million people have been killed and persecuted by communist totalitarian regimes.
The medal is awarded annually by the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation to those who have demonstrated a commitment to freedom. Other recipients include Professor Vytautas Landsbergis, Chairman of Lithuania's Supreme Council – Reconstituent Seimas (1999), Emanuelis Zingeris, Signatory to the Act of Independence, Member of the Seimas (2010 ), as well as Pope John Paul II , former Czech President Václav Havel, former Polish President Lech Wałęsa, leading Central and Eastern European dissidents, and other individuals that have demonstrated opposition to communism.