Egils Levits
Valsts prezidents Egils Levits

Dear recipients of the highest Latvian state awards, ladies and gentlemen,

Today we present the Order of the Three Stars, Order of Viesturs and Cross of Recognition, and honour those whose professional and public activities, together with civic participation, have strengthened democracy and rule of law in Latvia and solidified it as a nation state.

State relies on people’s determination and commitment. Highest state awards are a recognition of one’s achievements, ideas, words and deeds that have made life of our fellow countrymen, our nation, better. It is our way to say thank you to people who have fulfilled the sacred duty of each new generation: to make our country better.

We have gathered here today to celebrate people who fearlessly defended our independence during 1991 January Barricades and August Putsch. It took our nation War of Independence to defend its new state back in 1918, and we had to defend our renewed independence after the 4 May 1990 the same way. Those who will receive the state awards tonight defended our statehood fearlessly, with full resolve. It is especially moving to thank everyone of you and present the award in the days leading up to the 30th anniversary of the day when we decided to follow the dream and implement the biggest desire of our nation: regain full national independence and freedom.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Today we celebrate and honour those who spared no effort and fought for the health and life of their fellow men and women without any second thoughts or fear despite one of the biggest challenges faced by mankind when our public health was heavily tested. We pay tribute to our healthcare workers who did everything they could, to the best of their knowledge, to stop the pandemic from spreading further. We will honour foreign service staff responsible for coordinating the biggest repatriation operation in the modern history of Latvia to bring Latvians home in the early days of the pandemic.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Today we award and thank on behalf of Latvia people who are truly exceptional.

Thank you to all state, local, education, science, culture and public sector employees for humble service to our country.

Thank you to all national resistance movement members who are with us today.

Thank you to our national armed force troops, National Guard soldiers and border patrol officers for protecting and keeping our borders safe. Thank you to all farmers who farm our land.

I thank each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart. We all admire what you do and how your selfless efforts have changed Latvia.

Challenges faced 30 years ago when we restored independence and today are very different, but our people’s determination to work for common good was, is and will always remain the same, forming the very foundation, unbreakable values that help us carry on. Let us keep up the good work!

Ladies and gentlemen,

There is only one Latvia we hold so near and dear. Let us keep making it better every day!