Egils Levits
Valsts prezidenta Egila Levita runa pie Brīvības pieminekļa

Dear people of Latvia,


Two words, two nouns – (For) Fatherland and Freedom.

The people of Latvia have always aspired for these two values. These are two values fought for once, then lost and regained again.


Fatherland means our land.

It is the land we are connected to generation-by-generation wherever we are located physically.  

It is the land, which belongs to us. It was ours even when some foreign powers ruled here once.

It is the land, which determines our destiny.

It is the land whose destiny we determine.


Freedom is a natural state of an individual.

It is the state where we can choose among alternatives.

It is the state where we can determine our free space, its boundaries wherein we can act as we wish to.

It is the state, where we can implement our will, our wishes.

Boundaries of an individual’s freedom are determined only by the boundaries of the freedom of other individuals.

Freedom is a form of living together of self-confident and responsible people in a society. 


A connective ‘and’ links those two nouns – (for) Fatherland AND Freedom.

It means that Fatherland and Freedom match together. They must be together.

This small connective ‘AND’ imposes an obligation.

It imposes an obligation to ensure that Fatherland is free.

Fatherland is free when everybody of us as an individual is free, and we all as a democratic society can take a free decision on how we will live in our fatherland.

Out of those three words engraved on the monument, this small connective ‘AND’ is the hardest to realise, because it imposes the obligation to link and intertwine Fatherland and Freedom together.


Both nouns – (For) Fatherland and Freedom – are presented in the dative case. Dative case answers the question ‘whom?’

This dative transforms those words from simple, stating words into addressing and inviting or even imperative words. That requires action that requires dedicating something. That is do something for Fatherland and Freedom. 

Those words turn to us, they address us. They address you, all the people of Latvia, and me. People of Latvia are invited to dedicate their effort for Fatherland and Freedom.


The Freedom Monument impersonates the message about the will of state of the founders of the country and Latvian people, our dreams about freedom, our readiness to fight for it, and our readiness to safeguard it.

There are images of the soldiers of the Latvian War of Independence engraved in the Freedom Monument. They won freedom and independence of Latvia in harsh battles then. 

We are grateful to them forever.

Today, our soldiers are safeguarding the Republic of Latvia both here on the native land and with our allies elsewhere in the world. Thank you for your courage and commitment to serve Latvia with honour.

Dear Contemporaries,

The Freedom Monument has been a source of power for the idea of Latvia during the occupation, and it was a reminder of hope and opportunity for Latvia become free again.

Thirty years ago, a human chain enclosed the Freedom Monument when Estonians, Latvians, and Lithuanians joined their hands in the Baltic Way and announced their immutable will to restore their independent states to the world.

The Freedom Monument carries the message about the will of state of our people for the present and for the future.


I believe in Latvia as a rule-based and just country, where solidarity and readiness to help each other are respected.

I believe in Latvia as a prosperous country, where everyone has access to a part of common good in both intangible, mental, and social sense. We can create such Latvia together.

I believe in Latvia as a modern European country, the ability of our scientists and businesses to compete on a global scale, and ability of our artists to provide new and unexpected knowledge to the world.  

I believe in Latvia, where everybody of us, so different and unique, we, both Latvians and minorities, we, the people of Latvia standing firm in our will of state can shape our country as home to each of us.

God bless Latvia!