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In Memory of the Defenders of Lithuania’s Freedom

TV Tower of Vilnius remembers the bloody nocturnal events of 13 January 1991, wherein 14 people were killed near the TV Tower: Loreta Asanavičiūtė, Virginijus Druskis, Darius Gerbutavičius, Rolandas Jankauskas, Rimantas Juknevičius, Alvydas Kanapinskas, Algimantas Petras Kavoliukas, Vidas Maciulevičius, Titas Masiulis, Alvydas Matulka, Apolinaras Juozas Povilaitis, Ignas Šimulionis, Vytautas Vaitkus, Vytautas Koncevičius (on the tragic night of 13 January 1991, Vytautas was guarding the gates to the TV Tower, was injured and on the month of February died from his injuries). Tanks ran over three defenders of the Tower (L. Asanavičiūtė, R. Jankauskas and A. Kavoliukas), other defenders died from various gun-shot wounds. 9 victims were buried in Vilnius Antakalnis Cemetery, others - in their hometowns. Half of the victims were younger than 25.

Small obelisks made from granite commemorate the places where the defenders fell. Nearby, trees were planted; were men fell, oaks are growing and in the place of L. Asanavičiūtė’s death - linden. The streets of Karoliniškės micro-region are named after the fallen defenders.

In 1992, on the first floor of TV Tower, an exhibition to commemorate the victims of 13 January was installed; it was renewed in 2016. Annually, on 12 January, hundreds of people gather here, near the TV Tower, in order to give respects to the memory of those that died for the freedom of Lithuania. On that day, a huge remembrance bonfire is lit, flowers are placed on the places of death, poetry is read and music is plaid.

On 15 June 2005, a memorial for the remembrance of TV Tower’s defenders was unveiled. It is an 8 m height bronze sculpture called “Sacrifice” (“Aukojimas”), which was created by sculptor Darius Bražiūnas and architect Artūras Asauskas. A woman, who has her hands raised towards the sky, is standing on a huge bell. The stylized figure is somewhat raised above the ground; it is created in accordance to the cannons of statues for freedom. At the bottom of the large bell (diameter - 2.5 m), the lyrics of the hymn of Lithuania are carved-out. The bell is rung before the mass; it calls the people; it is a call, a symbol of independence. The monument was erected by the Lithuanian Radio and Television Center.

The Historic Park of Antennas

When commemorating 85th anniversary of broadcasting Lithuanian radio programs and its own activity, Lithuanian Radio and Television Center near the TV Tower of Vilnius on 13 June 2011 opened a historical park of antennas.

Four antennas remind us of the path that Lithuanian Radio and Television Center has went: antenna for broadcasting radio programs “Dozhd” (“Dožd”), radio-relay communication megaphone type parabolic antenna RPA-2P, antenna for broadcasting TV programs “Ladoga” and the APK antenna, which was used to broadcast overhead analogue television programs (the specialists call it “Butterfly” (“Peteliškė”)).

Satellite communication antenna “Nera”, which in 1991 was gifted to our country by Norwegian Radio and Television Center, stands in the park near TV Tower of Vilnius. This antenna, during the Soviet aggression, was being used in the House of Highest Council in order to ensure the communication with the whole world. On the month of January 2001, when commemorating the 20th anniversary of Lithuania’s freedom defenders, it was started to be exhibited for the populace.

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