70th Anniversary of the occupation of the Baltic States and Remembrance of the victims of the initial Mass Deportation on June 13-14, 1941
June 13, 2010
An Ecumenical Prayer Service was held June 13, 2010 at the Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church in Lakewood.
The service is a yearly event to commemorate the occupation of the Baltic States (Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania) by the Soviet Union.
It is also a remembrance of the Initial Mass Deportation on June 12-14, 1941 when citizens of the Baltic countries were rounded up in the middle of the night, separated from family members and friends, and were sent off to Siberia with nothing but their own wits and personal strength to get them through.
The service was led by Rev. Dr. Sarma Eglite representing the Latvians, Mr. Peeter Orro, representing the Estonians and the Lithuanians were represented by Reverend Joseph A. Bacevice.
Music, prayers and readings highlighted the somber memorial.
Rev. Bacevice led the group in intercessions one of which was, "Merciful God, we pray for countless numbers of brothers and sisters who died in unspeakable conditions in Siberia, in prisons, in forests, while defending our countries' freedom. Let them rejoice in your presence. Let these martyrs speak by their sacrifice to all of us about fidelity, freedom and truth. Lord, in your mercy: Hear our prayer."
As the group bowed their heads and prayed with the clergy a sense of promise and hope filled the room.
Soloist Virginija Muliolis, accompanied by organist Liga Zemseaja led the group in the singing of all of the national anthems; United States, Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian.
The event is sponsored by the Baltic American Committee of Greater Cleveland, which is made up of: K. Algimantas Pautienis, Baiba Caunite, Andeas Traks, Vilmars Kukainis, Beatrice Pautienis, Paul J. Barbins, Ingrida Bublys, Mylita Nasvytis and Karin Ruus.