Road signs mark Baltic Way route

Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania simultaneously put up memorial signs along their state highway systems Friday to mark the 25th anniversary of the human chain known as the Baltic Way, which signaled to the world that the Baltic states were incontrovertibly freeing themselves from a half-century’s worth of Soviet rule.

The signs inform drivers with an English-language message: 'You are where the Baltic Way took place.'

Ten of the altogether 23 memorial road signs are located in Latvia, 4 in Estonia, 9 in Lithuania. Latvian territory hosted more than a 260-kilometer stretch of the Baltic Way on its road system.

Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma and veteran Latvian State Roads (LVC) employee Uldis Birzlejs were on hand at the 25th kilometer post along the Bauska highway to remember their participation in the original human chain event in 1989.

“Each of us has our own little piece of the Baltic Way,” remembered Straujuma, speaking of her experience as a participant in the human chain near the Stone Bridge in downtown Riga.

Birzlejs also shared his memories of the event, recalling how he stood in the chain in the town of Vangaži, where road workers had been organized to go by the Popular Front.

The road signs were created and erected by members of the Baltic Association of Road Workers, the combined road system authorities of the three states founded in 1989.

 

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