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Restored Freedom Monument unveiled in Riga.

Each individual's achievements, knowledge and day-to-day work is what makes the foundation of a strong state, President Raimonds Vejonis said as he unveiled the landmark Freedom Monument in the center of Riga.

In his speech at the ceremony, President Vejonis mentioned Konstantins Pupurs, a man who 30 years ago arrived at the Freedom Monument with Latvia's national flag in his hands, starting a chain of events that resulted in the restoration of Latvia's independence. It is essential to remember these brave people as they are part of Latvia's history, the president said.

"A month has been left to marking the 99th anniversary of the founding of our state and the start of the year of Latvia's centenary. It is therefore important to spruce up our national symbols. The history of the Freedom Monument is an especially vivid reminder of the significance of the legacy left to us by previous generations, as it symbolizes the timeless values of our nation, which has continued to send the message of hope, also in hard times," the president said.

Vejonis called on everyone to build one's own monument of knowledge, day-today work and achievements, which make the foundation of a strong state. "The monuments of achievement are for eternity, just like the Freedom Monument," Vejonis said.

The officials participating at the unveiling ceremony included: Latvia's Chief of Defense, Lieutenant General Leonids Kalnins, Saeima Speaker Inara Murniece (National Alliance), Economics

Minister Arvils Aseradens (Unity), Culture Minister Dace Murniece (National Alliance) and Riga Mayor Nils Usakovs.

Speaker Murniece noted in her address that the Freedom Monument is one of Latvia's most important symbols which has withstood various times, and that it will always be an integral part of Latvia. The Saeima speaker called for the monument's regular maintenance, as well as cultivation and strengthening of the idea of the Latvian nation and its values.

As reported, the monument had been going through renovation works since July.

The Culture Ministry allocated EUR 193,636 from contingency funds for the restoration and maintenance of the Freedom Monument.

LETA/TBT Staff

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Title Annotation:BALTIC NEWS
Publication:The Baltic Times (Riga, Latvia)
Geographic Code:4EXLA
Date:Oct 26, 2017
Words:342
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