Diary

An August Wake Up Call 21 Years Ago

On August 23, 1939, four days after the economic agreement was signed and a little over a week before the beginning of World War II, Ribbentrop and Molotov signed the Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact. In 1989, Estonian and other Baltic deputies battled with Gorbachev to have the Soviet Union reveal the true story of the Nazi-Soviet Nonaggression Pact in time for the fiftieth anniversary of the pact in August. Just days before the anniversary, a commission charged with studying the pact concluded that secret protocols dividing up Poland and the Baltic states had indeed existed. Armed with this finding, Estonia literally linked up with its Baltic neighbors on August 23 to form a 600-kilometer human chain from Tallinn to the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius, to draw worldwide attention to the anniversary of the pact and to their cause. An estimated 2 million Baltic residents participated in the show of unity.

Now some people contend that drawing attention to a cause like the Tea Party events have done recently do not amount to much, and only getting the right people elected matters. I do not disagree with the idea that getting the right people elected matters, but I think we ought to remember the event 21 years ago shows how important an event attended by ordinary folks can be. I am not fluent in the language heard in this video below, but I understand their cause. They wanted the Soviet Union boot removed from their neck. They wanted freedom. The words heard many times in this vid, Atmostas Baltija, translate in English to Wake up, Baltic countries! Can you imagine over 2 million US residents literally linking up, arm in arm, along I-10 from Houston, Texas to Mobile, Alabama shouting Wake up, Gulf coast states? If the oil moratorium and plans for carbon taxes remain a boot on the neck of the Gulf coast residents, then yes I really can see a show of unity like this. I do not expect it in August 2010, but it is not impossible for it to happen one day. Please watch the video below, and never forget the wake up call the world watched happen in the Baltics on August 23, 1989.

Cross-posted at The Minority Report