On 21 August, the 20th anniversary of the de facto restoration of independence of Latvia, the speakers of the Baltic and Nordic countries’ parliaments, along with members of the Supreme Council who voted in favour of restoring Latvia’s independence twenty years ago, will plant new trees in Jēkaba Square by the main Saeima building.
“Latvian trees have their roots firmly in Latvian soil; they defy tempests and storms. In honour of the historic decision of 21 August, we will plant lime trees, ash trees and lilacs. Every tree has its own ‘voice’ – each one has a unique rustling sound. With its gentle, rounded leaves and honeyed blossoms, the lime tree symbolises Laima – a deity of destiny in Latvian mythology. It reminds us of Mother Latvia. The ash is a tree with practical use and acts as a guardian. Lilacs herald the start of the long-awaited summer and express hope – in our childhood, all of us have searched for luck in a five-petal blossom,” says Speaker of the Saeima Solvita Āboltiņa.
To symbolically show solidarity and to commemorate the decision that was of historic importance for Latvia, the speakers of parliaments of Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Iceland, as well as the Secretary General of the Norwegian parliament, will plant the trees together with former members of the Supreme Council.
Since all three Baltic States are celebrating the anniversary of the restoration of independence this year, speeches will be held by freedom fighters from all three countries – Georgs Andrejevs (Latvia), Birutė Valionytė (Lithuania) and Heldur Peterson (Estonia).
The greenery of Jēkaba Square will be supplemented with three ash trees and one lime tree, which will offer shade on hot summer days, as well as four lilacs, whose abundant blossoms will delight passers-by in spring.
The brass band of the National Armed Forces will play during the tree planting ceremony.
A group photo of all the participants will be taken at the end of the ceremony.
On 21 August 1991 the Supreme Council of the Republic of Latvia passed the Constitutional Law “On the Statehood of the Republic of Latvia”, thus restoring the independence of Latvia de facto and marking the return of the country to the democratic family of Western European countries.
With the adoption of the Constitutional Law, the laws of the USSR became null and void in Latvia. On the basis of the law of 21 August, other countries recognised the restoration of Latvia’s independence.
Saeima Press Service