President of the Republic of Lithuania President of the Republic of Lithuania

Address by President Gitanas Nausėda at the Flag Raising Ceremony in Daukanto Square

2021-07-06

Dear Fellow People of Lithuania,

Dear Participants of the Celebration,

It is with great joy that we raise flags today and stand together to celebrate an exceptional event in the history of our nation – the coronation of King Mindaugas of Lithuania.

As we look back at the origins of the Lithuanian state, we re-discover the depth of our historical tradition. We renew our commitment to its sustainability and continuity.

I am delighted to see dear friends of Lithuania – President of the European Council Charles Michel and President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy – at our celebration today.

Their presence here once again reminds us of our belonging to the family of European nations and of the tested centuries-long bond between Lithuania and Ukraine.

Seven hundred and sixty-eight years ago Lithuania made a clear and definite choice to go West. Mindaugas’ decision placed the development of the state in a trajectory that helped us, and still helps, to overcome many challenges.

Once we turned to Western civilization, we have never strayed from the first and only path marked by the King.

Today we can better appreciate the political genius of a man who did not get lost in a difficult geopolitical situation, clearly assessed the vulnerability of pagan Lithuania, and made the only right decision under the conditions of that time.

Mindaugas managed to be ahead of his time. He acted as a far-sighted leader who not only mobilized the state but also offered it a western direction of development.

Although the work started by our King was not completed while he was alive, a unique Lithuanian leadership tradition was eventually born in the whirlpool of history.

To follow clearly-set value-based guidelines, to stand firmly guarding the West, and to always seek opportunities to be active in the immediate neighborhood – all of this remains part of the Lithuanian identity as we continue walking down the path marked by Mindaugas.

Today Lithuania remains a space of peaceful coexistence and tolerance between different nations, religions and cultures – as the Grand Duchy of Lithuania had always been. As part of the West, we willingly share our experience with historically and culturally close countries in the region. We are dignified and independent in addressing the key issues on the European agenda.

In this way distant history becomes part of the present, commits us and inspires new accomplishments.

Well-aware of our historical mission, we stand as Lithuanian citizens – the creators of a modern European state. Together with our European Union and NATO partners, we are consistently working towards more democracy, stability and prosperity in the ever-changing world.

Lithuania’s political birth shows that the origins of statehood lie on the foundations of unity and agreement. Even if that agreement turns out to be ephemeral and fragile, it is the cornerstone of success. So let us learn from the past when we address current geopolitical, human rights and social issues. A reasoned dispute is always superior to war, a debate is always more fruitful than banal bickering. Wisdom always sees further than anger.

Let us continue to be guided by our dreams. Let’s never be afraid to surpass our time, and let’s always keep looking for those who will continue the work we have started. Let us be confident and dignified on this amazing path of national statehood.

I wish everybody a wonderful celebration!

Gitanas Nausėda, President of the Republic of Lithuania

Last updated 2021.07.06 15:11

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