ABRADE, Lithuania — Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 9th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, joined Lithuanian service members and civilians in the annual Road of Life and Death tribute run on Jan. 11 in Vilnius, Lithuania.
Approximately 40 U.S. Soldiers based near the city, and 100s of both Lithuanian military personnel and civilians, ran or walked the 9-kilometer race. Many other volunteers assisted and cheered as the event wound through the city along the Neris River.
This run commemorates the 29th anniversary of Jan. 13, 1991, in Vilnius, when unarmed Lithuanians challenged the aggression of the Soviet Union. During this event, 14 citizens lost their lives defending freedom, while many others were injured. In order to commemorate those victims and as a reminder of the value of freedom, a tribute run was organized in Vilnius by the Lithuanian Amateur Runners Association.
The tribute run has been organized annually since 1992, and each year more Lithuanian communities and embassies from around the world join in to honor and promote freedom for Lithuania as well as across the globe.
This year’s event began around noon at the Antakalnis Cemetery, with a wreath laying ceremony to pay tribute to the 1991 victims, and finished outside the Vilnius TV Tower. At the conclusion, medals were awarded along with the traditional serving of tea.