Proclamation 5023 -- Lithuanian Independence Day, 1983

February 16, 1983

By the President of the United States

of America

A Proclamation

Sixty-five years ago a small nation achieved freedom in the aftermath of World War I. Proclaiming the Lithuanian Republic, its founders stepped forward on February 16, 1918, to assert their country's independence and commitment to a government based on justice, democracy, and the rights of the individual.

Twenty-two years later Soviet tyranny imposed itself on Lithuania and denied the Lithuanian people their just right of national self-determination. In the intervening years, the United States has refused to recognize the forcible incorporation of Lithuania into the Soviet Union.

An enduring belief in freedom for all people unites Americans everywhere. But we must be vigilant in the protection of our common ideal, for as long as freedom is denied others, it is not secure here.

We mark this anniversary of Lithuanian independence with a renewed hope that the blessings of liberty will be restored to Lithuania.

The Congress of the United States, by House Joint Resolution 60, has authorized and requested the President to proclaim February 16, 1983, as Lithuanian Independence Day.

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim February 16, 1983, as Lithuanian Independence Day.

I invite the people of the United States to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and deeds and to reaffirm their dedication to the ideals which unite us and inspire others.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this 16th day of February, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and seventh.

Ronald Reagan

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 11:19 a.m., February 17, 1983]