The Commemorative Medal for Participants of the Barricades of 1991

The Commemorative Medal for Participants of the Barricades of 1991 is a state award which was established to honour the defenders of Latvia’s independence for the courage, selflessness and initiative they demonstrated in January and August 1991, as well as for their contribution in performing organisational and logistic activities. It is also awarded to persons who morally and materially supported participants of the Barricades of 1991.

The procedure for awarding the medal is specified by the Law on the Commemorative Medal for Participants of the Barricades of 1991 and the Law on State Awards.

On 20 December 2007, Article 2 of Transitional Provisions of the Law on State Awards was amended, by setting forth the requirement that recipients of the medal should be nominated by 31 December 2008 according to the procedure prescribed by the Law on the Commemorative Medal for Participants of the Barricades of 1991.

The Commemorative Medal for Participants of the Barricades of 1991 is a shield-shaped medal with oak leaves. The medal is 40 mm in diameter, and it depicts a lion holding a smaller shield with two crossed keys. LR 1991 is engraved above the larger shield. The words Par Latviju (For Latvia) and the number of the medal are engraved on the reverse of the medal. The medal is attached to a 30-mm-wide crimson-white-crimson ribbon. The medal set also includes a small pin (20 mm in diameter), similar in appearance to the medal, which is appropriate for daily use.

The Commemorative Medal for Participants of the Barricades of 1991 was awarded by the Board for Awarding the Commemorative Medal for Participants of the Barricades of 1991. The Board consisted of the Speaker of the Saeima and four members of the Board invited by the Speaker.

Together with the medal, recipients received a certificate which signed by the Chairperson and members of the Board for Awarding the Commemorative Medal for Participants of the Barricades of 1991 and bearing the seal of the Board. The certificate included the number of the medal and the decision of the Board according to which the medal was awarded.

The first medal was awarded on 20 January 1996, and more than 30,000 participants of the Barricades of 1991 have received this medal.

The final medal was awarded in October 2011, when all nominees nominated according to the procedure set forth by the aforementioned Law had received their medals. Awardees who for some reason have not been able to receive the Commemorative Medal for Participants of the Barricades of 1991 are asked to contact the Museum of the Barricades of 1991 located on Krāmu iela 3 (phone: +371 67213525).

Recognising the importance of honouring the individuals who demonstrated courage and selflessness during the Barricades of 1991 but were not nominated for the Commemorative Medal in the specified time-frame and therefore did not receive the Medal, the Board decided to establish a Certificate of Appreciation.
From 2013 until October 2016, the Certificate of Appreciation was awarded to 700 participants of the Barricades.

As of 24 October 2016, nominations and decisions on officially recognising the defenders of the independence of Latvia are taken by the Association of Participants of the Barricades of 1991, Krāmu iela 3, Riga (telephone: +371 67213525).

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