18.11.2022. Valsts prezidenta Egila Levita svētku uzruna pie Brīvības pieminekļa. Foto autors: Ilmārs Znotiņš, Valsts prezidenta kanceleja

Dear fellow Latvians, citizens, and all people of Latvia!

104 years ago, our ancestors created a state for the existence of our nation. This purpose of Latvian state is contained in the first - and most important - paragraph of the Constitution. It reads as follows:

"The State of Latvia, proclaimed on 18 November 1918, has been established by uniting historical Latvian lands and on the basis of the unwavering will of the Latvian nation to have its own State and its inalienable right of self-determination in order to guarantee the existence and development of the Latvian nation, its language and culture throughout the centuries, to ensure the freedom and promote the welfare of the people of Latvia and each individual."

We must have our own state in order to have a lasting existence because the state is the framework for our independence, freedom and democracy; because the state is the framework for the existence of the Latvian nation, Latvian language and Latvian culture. Today and in the future.

When the founding fathers decided on 18 November 1918 that we needed our own country, it required courage.

Not only because Latvia was proclaimed in Riga, which at that time was still occupied by foreign troops, but most importantly - they needed to be convinced that the Latvian people were ready for their own state. Ready to create it and take responsibility for it.

Because in a democracy, the people decide their own future.

Because in a democracy, the state is maintained jointly by all fellow citizens.

In difficult and decisive moments, Latvians have a remarkable quality - the ability to unite for a common cause.

Our will was so strong that we regained our independence.

We strengthened our army so that Latvia could be a secure part of NATO.

We put our house in order to become a member of the European Union.

We stand united in supporting Ukraine in its fight against Russian imperialism.

We share a common goal - to overcome the current difficulties and develop our country.

We want to see Latvia as a modern, educated, prosperous European country, where the Latvian language is spoken everywhere.

Today, we gratefully celebrate the courageous decision of our ancestors to found the Latvian state.

The foundation of our life is the work done by previous generations. Future generations will build their lives on what we have done.

The continuity of Latvia is determined by our national will and that of every future generation.

I wish you to remember the good and realize the strength of our nation not only on holidays but also in everyday life. I also wish you to remember that our Latvian state has a moral value.

I sincerely congratulate you on the national holiday!

Long live Latvia!

God bless Latvia!

18.11.2022. Valsts prezidents Egils Levits piedalās Latvijas Republikas proklamēšanas 104. gadadienai veltītajos pasākumos