VIDEO: Why the US celebrates Belarus Freedom Day?
Freedom Day is an unofficial holiday annually celebrated by Belarusians worldwide on March 25th, commemorating the declaration of independence by the Belarusian Democratic Republic in 1918. After over 100 years, it’s banned in the modern-day Republic of Belarus but still remains widely celebrated by Belarusians in the country and abroad, commemorating the nation’s continued fight for freedom, democracy and independence. In the US, mayors, governors and presidents, including Dwight Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton, have traditionally issued official greetings to the Belarusian American community in honor of Freedom Day. Check out our new video to learn more!
This year, in honor of Freedom Day and all the Belarusians who continue fighting tyranny at home and abroad, the Mayor of Boston, Michelle Wu, proclaimed March 24th of 2023 to be Belarus Freedom Day in the City of Boston, following a similar proclamation from the Mayor of Washington, D.C., Muriel Bowser. On March 24th, the historical Belarusian white-red-white flag was raised at the Boston City Hall Plaza.
The rally opened with the singing of the US and Belarus national anthems by Ilya Silchukov, a world-renowned Belarusian baritone. Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, former presidential candidate and a prominent leader of the Belarusian pro-democracy movement spoke about her ongoing visit to Washington, D.C., and the importance of international support to force the Lukashenko regime to release all the political prisoners and to hold him accountable for the crimes against humanity and for aiding Russia in the war with Ukraine.
“Our Freedom Day is today, and every day remains to be a fight for freedom. It’s what we remind ourselves of who we are and what our freedom is worth,” Tsikhanouskaya said at the rally.
Addressing Belarusian Americans at the event, US Rep. Bill Keating (D-MA) pledged to introduce “a House resolution condemning the ongoing human rights violations committed by the Belarusian authorities, calling for the immediate release of all political prisoners, and supporting continued robust funding for Belarusian civil society.“
The event was organized by Belarusians in Boston with the informational support of the Association of Belarusians in America (ABA).
Additionally to Boston, this year Belarus Freedom Day was also celebrated in Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Sacramento, San Diego, Atlanta, Miami, Raleigh, NC, Washington, DC, and other US cities, as well as worldwide.
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