Today, our Republic commemorates the thirtieth anniversary of the Velvet Revolution. On November 17, 1989, thousands of people fought for our freedom, which is why dozens of places are hosting not only various memorial events, but also celebrations. This important day was not forgotten by well-known personalities who looked back to the past on their social networks and recalled what they had been doing on this day thirty years ago.
Presenter and actress Laďka Něrgešová commemorated the events of 1989 at a memorial plaque on Národní třída, where she visited together with her son Adam and daughter Meda. At the time of the Velvet Revolution she was thirteen years old.
"I was at an age when I wasn't dealing with the closure of universities in 1939 yet. Or Nepletal. Or Albertov. I remember the northern lights. Strange red sky after sunset. The horror of adults listening to Radio Free Europe while visiting friends. Statements such as: They've really gone too far this time! For God's sake?! This has to stop! As a girl at the onset of puberty, I perceived everything that followed very emotionally. And look! Has it been 30 years already?!"
Presenter Libor Bouček also remembered October 17. He had been looking forward to celebrating his 9th birthday back then. Like many others, he expressed his gratitude and joy of freedom on his Instagram account.
"We often mistake democracy for the obvious right to be heard, even if sometimes remaining silent is wiser. General freedom erases the natural desire for knowledge. We demand a certain service from the state without actively and initiatively developing it. We have stopped talking to each other under the pressure of likes and followers. Our eyes are no longer so damp. And yet we're lucky. We live without any conflicts or distress, in full comfort."
Singer David Koller, who will also perform at the Prague Festival of Freedom on the occasion of today's 30th anniversary, explains what freedom means to him personally:
"When you hear the word freedom, the first association is typically democracy. But let's look at the word "freedom" in other languages. In Polish, for instance, it is liberty. And that, in my opinion, captures freedom best. A democratic society guarantees laws so that we can coexist, even if we have different opinions. The freedom lies in that no one can terrorize us for them, as it was under totalitarianism."
"Freedom smells after autumn. Thirty years ago it was an incredibly festive moment. We should remember it. We should also remember what life was like under Communism. And we should do so by telling the truth, not creating some fabulations that everything used to be better."
"Freedom means feeling good for me. Smiling, singing, dancing. That's an expression of the inner freedom which forms a base for everything."
You can read the full messages famous personalities left on social networks in our photo gallery. They seem to be clear about what freedom means to them. And what does it mean to you? What do you think of when you hear the term Velvet Revolution?