VILNIUS - Lithuania is on Friday marking the Day of Mourning and Hope, the anniversary of the beginning of mass deportations of Lithuanian citizens in the Soviet era.
A flower laying ceremony will take place at Antakalnis Cemetery at the monument for those who died for their homeland, and later the Seimas will hold a solemn sitting.
At 11.59 a.m., the public project "Mission Siberia" is inviting people to hold a minute of silence. Soon afterwards, Lithuania's flag will be hoisted during a solemn ceremony in the Independence Square outside the parliament.
A ceremony to honor victims of occupation, genocide and Soviet-era repressions will be held at the monument of prisoners and deportees in Auku Street in Vilnius.
At 1 p.m., the annual campaign "Say, Hear, Remember" will start in Vilnius and other cities of Lithuania and people will read the names of deportees and political prisoners. American Lithuanian will also join this campaign and they will read the names in Washington at a monument to communism victims.
A memorial event will also take place at Naujoji Vilnia railway station and a similar event will be held at the Genocide and Resistance Research Center of Lithuania. The names of deported teachers will be held at the Teachers' House in Vilnius.
A service will be held at Vilnius Cathedral on Friday afternoon.
After the Soviets occupied Lithuania in 1940-1953, around 130,000 people were deported from the country and another 156,000 were imprisoned.