Egils Levits
Valsts prezidenta Egila Levita uzruna Viļakas Romas katoļu baznīcā

Dear inhabitants of Viļaka,

Dear city guests,

Dear ladies and gentlemen,


A nation’s own state is rooted in and thrives on the faith and determination of people. Our country, too, is based on our nation’s faith in Latvia and determination to rightfully claim and fight for our independent state.

Faith and determination have formed and inspired our nation’s unshakeable national aspirations throughout the centuries.


As me mark the centenary of liberation of Latgale today, I would like to specifically highlight the faith of fellow Latgalians in our own state – Latvia – and their conviction that Latvia is everyone’s concern.

It took great courage and faith to preserve the language, Latvian customs and culture throughout the centuries of separation from the rest of Latvia. Latgalian awakening and the idea to unite all historical Latvian lands into one country, which lies at the core of our statehood, also needed courage and faith. The Congress of Latgale is the symbolic expression of fellow Latgalians’ faith in Latvia and shared fate of Latvian nation.

Another expression of faith in Latvia is the Latgalian Partisan Regiment which formed here in Northern Latgale during the War of Independence. Small units of patriotic Latvians successfully confronted the enemy, came together, formed a regiment, got armed and lead the liberation of Latgale and the whole Latvia. 45 Orders of Lāčplēsis awarded to members of the Latgalian Partisan Regiment who took part in the war are a recognition of their heroism and willingness to scarify their life for Latvia.

Let us honour our heroes and thank them for the victories they achieved during the War of Independence. Victories that led to united and free Latvia.


We have gathered in the Viļaka Roman Catholic Church. Let us not forget that this church played a historic role in preserving Latvianness in Latgale and uniting Latvia. Latgalians who supported the awakening were all united by this church. A church which had a vital role in reinforcing the sense of dignity among Latgalians.

Catholic priests have always been close to the nation and deeply involved in nation’s life. Francis Trasuns, Nikodems Rancāns, Jāzeps Rancāns and many other priests supported and promoted the sense of dignity among Latgalians, its culture language and awakening. They organised the Congress of Latgale and helped unite Latgale and other historical lands inhabited by Latvians into one country shared by all.

Deep and traditionally harmonious synergy between the Latvian folk wisdom and Christian traditions is a unique source of strength only Latgale has. A constant source of faith and determination to nurture your Latvianness, to preserve the Latgalian language and culture throughout time.


Our nation needs to constantly keep this faith and determination strong. We must pass it from generation to generation through tales of heroism. Our state will be strong as long as we know our history, our past and our heroes, and as long as their deeds will be a living part of our collective memory.

Congratulations on the centenary of liberation of Viļaka and Latgale. Let us celebrate and honour also our ancestors who have given us the independent Latvia.

May Latvia live forever!

09.01.2020. Valsts prezidents Egils Levits apmeklē Viļaku, lai kopā ar Viļakas un apkārtnes iedzīvotājiem godinātu Brīvības cīņu Ziemeļlatgalē 100. gadadienu un pieminētu cīņu dalībniekus