August 24, 2013 Leave a comment
Yesterday marked 24 years since the people of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania came together to protest Soviet communism. On August 23, 1939, the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact (Hitler-Stalin Pact) was signed – creating separate spheres of influence that led to the Soviet reoccupation of the Baltic Republics. Fifty years later, on August 23, 1989, people from Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania came together to form the “Baltic Way” (Chain of Freedom) – a human chain spanning 600 kilometers (370mi)- to protest Soviet communism. It was the largest protest of its kind recorded in history. Today, every August 23rd marks Black Ribbon Day to remember the victims of Nazism and Soviet communism.
As a first-generation American of Lithuanian descent , I proudly flaunt my roots because the Baltic spirit taught me to be independent-minded and skeptical of big government. The “Baltic Way” exemplifies how individuals can unite in the name of freedom to reject socialism in a peaceful, effective manner. (Thanks to Legal Insurrection for documenting my tweets about the anniversary of the “Baltic Way.”)
We can apply many aspects of the “Baltic Way” to the modern day. The Tea Party movement proved to be effective, and now the Defund ObamaCare movement is gaining steam. Perhaps we can replicate the “Baltic Way” here in the U.S.? Why not create the “American Way” to protest big government?
- “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”- George Santayana, The Life of Reason, Volume 1, 1905
- Remembering the Baltic Way human chain for freedom (legalinsurrection.com)
- Europe Remembers Victims of Stalinism, Nazism (news.err.ee)
- Remembering the Victims of Communism and Nazism in Eastern Europe (heritage.org)
- Baltic Way Memorial Wall in Vilnius (manpatinkalietuva.com)
- August 23rd (adayinhistoryblog.wordpress.com)