The National Endowment for Democracy and the Embassy of Lithuania invite you to the presentation of the Democracy Service Medal to Vytautas Landsbergis, preceded by a screening of the film The Other Dream Team.
Vytautas Landsbergis, along with Lech Walesa and Vaclav Havel, is among the heroes of the revolutions of 1989 to 1991 that brought democracy to Eastern Europe. As a founder and leader of the democratic movement Sajudis, he spearheaded Lithuania’s struggle to regain its freedom after more than 40 years of Soviet occupation. After being elected Chairman of the Supreme Council, he oversaw the drafting of Lithuania’s declaration of independence on March 11, 1990. This process initiated the collapse of the Soviet Union, and Lithuania served as an inspiration for democracy movements across the USSR.
For more than two decades, Professor Landsbergis has been a pioneer, leader and guiding force of center-right political parties and parliamentary politics in Lithuania. Since 2004, he has served Lithuania as a member of the European Parliament. From his earliest days in politics, he has also opposed authoritarianism and supported freedom fighters around the globe. Prof. Landsbergis is a founding member of the Parliamentary Forum for Democracy, an international network of parliamentarians who support democracy and human rights. It is for these accomplishments and contributions to democracy that NED will honor Vytautas Landsbergis with its Democracy Service Medal.
Prior to the medal presentation, and at a time when many of us are looking forward to college basketball’s “March Madness,” there will be a special screening of The Other Dream Team, the critically acclaimed documentary about Lithuania’s struggle for independence and the triumph of their 1992 Olympic Basketball team against the former Soviet Union. This film is about more than the sport of basketball—it is about a team that emerged as a symbol of democracy, unity, and pride in a country once shackled by Communism.
Wednesday, March 13, 2013 from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM