Honourable Minister of Defence!
Honourable Commander of the National Armed Forces!
Officers, instructors, youth guards! Ladies and Gentlemen!
More than 100 years ago, during the War of Independence, the citizens of Latvia won their country, made it prosperous and European. The course of its development was violently interrupted, but the children and young people who were born and grew up in the restored Latvia are the heirs of the Latvian state founded 104 years ago and the shapers of its future.
Independence, freedom and democracy are nowadays taken for granted. However, we should stand up for these values and defend them again and again. This is the path of the Latvian people’s succession of generations. For the Latvian state to be secure in the future, it is critical for the younger generation to think in national terms and be involved in the life of the state from their school years.
In 30 years, the Youth Guard has grown into a serious and broad movement. Youth Guards develop their civic consciousness and patriotism, educate themselves in the field of national defence, and develop physical fitness and skills necessary for national defence. The public perceives the youth guards as the future forge of the Latvian National Armed Forces, the strengthens of national security and defence; as those who will know what to do at a crucial moment and will be able to help others.
In a democracy, citizens bear the primary responsibility for their country. A good citizen is loyal to Latvia and its fundamental law - the Constitution. We understand that the values enshrined in the Constitution may have to be defended and are ready to do so. A good citizen is able to balance human rights and freedoms with duty and responsibility towards society and his country.
However, one is not born a responsible citizen. It happens through the process of upbringing, education and experience. National defence education, which will soon be introduced in all Latvian schools, is such a part of civic education for children and young people. Children and young people in the Youth Guard have already mastered it and will continue to develop it to an even higher level.
I would like to thank the Commander of the Youth Guard Information Centre and all the officers, instructors, as well as the many people who, driven by duty and mission, have educated and taught the Youth Guard. Thanks to the students and young people!
Dear Youth Guards and youth leaders!
Congratulations on the 30th anniversary of the Youth Guard! Latvia is getting stronger and smarter, and this is also your merit. Thank you for your devotion to noble values, your country and the voice of your heart! Thank you for your patriotic stance and desire to do good for Latvia! I wish the youth guard regiments to grow and gain strength!
Grow for Latvia!
The congratulation of the President of Latvia was delivered by Jānis Kažociņš, National Security Adviser to the President of Latvia.