In 1949, freedom fighters Jonas Žemaitis-Vytautas, Adolfas Ramanauskas-Vanagas, Aleksandras Grybinas-Faustas, Vytautas Gužas-Kardas, Juozas Šibaila-Merainis, Bronius Liesis-Naktis, Leonardas Grigonis-Užpalis, Petras Bartkus-Žadgaila (names and code-names) signed the Declaration of the Independence of Lithuania on February 16th (originally declared in 1918).
This declaration was ratified as an act of law on January 12, 1999 by the Seimas (Parliament) of Lithuania. According to the declaration, Lithuania is a democratic republic, and its sovereign government belongs to the Lithuanian nation. Occupation by the Soviet Union contravenes this declaration and all possible means will be employed to reestablish Lithuanian Independence, a goal which all Lithuanians, living in the homeland and abroad, are invited to share.
The Seimas of Lithuania has proclaimed 2019 the year of Jonas Žemaitis-Vytautas, who had the factual role of President of Lithuania during the Freedom Wars.
The event is sponsored by the Lithuanian Embassy in Canada and the Niagara Falls Illumination Board. The Falls will be lit in yellow, green and red for 15 minutes at 10 p.m. (5 a.m. Lithuania time). The time may be adjusted according to weather conditions.