November is an important and especially patriotic month for Latvia – 11 November is celebrated as Lāčplēsis Day. It is on this day that Latvia’s forces achieved victory over Bermontian forces in 1919. 18 November is the day of proclamation of the Republic of Latvia.
Banketērija banquet service has compiled a list of historic speeches by Latvia’s state officials.
Karlis Ulmanis, Latvia’s first Prime Minister, 11 November 1918:
The road ahead will not be easy, but I am nonetheless inspired to go on by the power of Latvia’s nation, its determination to finish the job to the end. On this moment, let us remember the long years our people have carried hope for a free Latvia in their hearts. We should thank those who kept our people’s spirit up and gave their lives for Latvia. Now that we are free and no longer expect any help and support from the outside, we can finally live our lives the way we see fit. All Latvian citizens will be able to contribute and enjoy the benefits of our independence. Ours will be a country of democratic justice. There will be no place for repression or injustice.
Laimdota Straujuma, Latvia’s standing Prime Minister, 2014:
I wholeheartedly congratulate all residents with the 96th birthday of the Republic of Latvia! November is a month of celebration and remembrance for Latvia. It is a time to look back at significant historical events that helped shape our Latvia and protect its freedom. Looking back at events of 2014, one wonders how high the price of freedom truly is. We are forced to exit our comfort zone and look at the current geopolitical situation and modern war threats, all of which carry fear and uncertainty with them. We have ensured our country’s independence. Now we have to defend it and be true to our land – Latvia!
Andris Berzins, now former President of Latvia, 2011:
All to whom Latvia’s name and future are close and dear! No matter how far away you may be from Latvia, no matter the reason why you left Latvia, you will most definitely come together to remember your homeland on 11 November. What does Latvia mean to each and every one of us? It is our homeland. To others it brings back fond memories of childhood, school years, parents, grandparents, Latvia’s fields. Latvia is associated with beautiful nature, smart and hard-working people. I would like to wish everyone to remember Latvia and do all they can to make sure Latvia exists forever. I congratulate you all with Latvia’s 93rd birthday! I urge everyone to join in the development of Latvia’s future in their thoughts and deeds. God Bless Latvia!
Valdis Dombrovskis, the now former Prime Minister of Latvia, 2011:
On 18 November 1918 Latvia’s nation realized their right for self-determination and founded the Latvian state. Latvian people have had their own country for nearly one hundred years. Our country is inclusive and open. Patriotism and pride for our country and respect toward all residents of the country are the basic principles that should be taught in childhood. That is the only way it is possible to create a united society with unified goals and knowledge of Latvia’s history, as well as belief in its future. Latvia is proud of its people, traditions and history. Latvia respects all of its residents and honours its heroes who defended and continue to defend our country’s values, freedom and safety. I congratulate all people in Latvia and all of our patriots living across the globe with Latvia’s birthday!
Vaira Vike-Freiberga, the now former President of Latvia, 2000:
I am happy to congratulate Latvians living around the world with the anniversary of our country’s independence and wish that Latvia has a joyful and productive year. I believe we can be proud of our accomplishments. We need everyone – people who live in Latvia and other parts of the world – to do their part on our long way to further developing the country we live in. You, the great Latvians and Latvian-born people, you, the friends of Latvians in all corners of the world – all of you are part of our vanguard, our army that paves the way for us and you are our ambassadors abroad who support our opinion and help explain to others who we are, what our values are and what we stand for in the world.