Speaker of the Saeima: Freedom is like fire that must never be allowed to go out, we must take care of it ceaselessly

(04.05.2021.)
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Freedom is like a fire that must never be allowed to go out, we must take care of it ceaselessly. On 4 May, we celebrate an occasion like no other. It is the day on which we regained freedom that we had been thirsting for so long. The day on which the dream cherished for decades by several generations of Latvians – to regain our independent state - came true, underlined Ināra Mūrniece, Speaker of the Saeima, on Tuesday, 4 May, during her address at the ceremonial sitting of the Saeima in honour of the 31st anniversary of the restoration of the independence of the Republic of Latvia.

Speaker Mūrniece reminded that the power of the nation manifests most strongly when people feel that they form part of something bigger and stand for a common goal. She made note of the special treasure that is our personal and national identity, as well as the Latvian language: “Just as we must always keep alive the flame of freedom, we must also protect, preserve, and develop our language.”

Speaker Mūrniece also expressed gratitude to Members of the Supreme Council for their courage in casting their votes on 4 May 1990 that gave us freedom and determined the future course of our nation and our state – the return to Europe, to the Western cultural and geopolitical space, to democracy. To a reality shaped by free people in a free country.

Speaker Mūrniece noted that in today's Europe and also Latvia, people are given a lot of freedoms, yet freedom, one of the fundamental values ​​of democracy, cannot exist without shared responsibility. The reality we live in has undeniably changed. However, neither our personal nor our sovereign freedom have been lost. Only our accustomed lifestyle has been affected.

The pandemic has shown that people try, to the best of their ability, to limit the spread of the virus. On this day of celebration, I sincerely and warmly thank all the people of Latvia for their resilience and responsibility, stated the Speaker of the Saeima.

Speaker Mūrniece emphasised that at present, it is of utmost importance to safeguard public health and human lives. The Saeima and the Latvian government have made decisions and imposed restrictions to ensure access to adequate healthcare for every person in Latvia during the pandemic.

“It is the health care workers that have carried the world on their shoulders through this crisis. Throughout this difficult time, Latvian medical professionals have demonstrated admirable dedication, flexibility, and wisdom. We sincerely thank you for everything you have been doing for over a year now. Thank you for your skills, devotion, patience, and endurance! We admire you,” said Speaker Mūrniece, pointing out that, unfortunately, mass vaccination is hindered by misconceptions and lies about the composition and effects of vaccines.

Turning to international developments, attacks on democracy and wide-spread disinformation campaigns, Speaker Mūrniece expressed strong support for Ukraine, which is experiencing extreme military threats from Russia, and noted that only the strong admonition from many European Union and NATO member states has helped to at least somewhat diminish the tension, for now. In such times, it is important that the military cooperation of the Baltic States – Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia – is more active than ever before. It allows us to feel united, Mūrniece said, adding that the continued support of the United States remains essential for the security and defence of the Baltic States.

Family is and will remain the greatest treasure of every person and the entire society, said Speaker Mūrniece. “Unfortunately, the year of the pandemic was challenging for families. Remote work and online education put the resilience of children and adults to the test," said Mūrniece, thanking teachers for their valour and ability to rapidly adapt to the digital environment.

One of the qualities of our people is our deep love for nature and our close connection with it. Here in Latvia, we are used to living in a relatively clean, green, and healthy environment, said Mūrniece, reminding that climate change and environmental degradation pose an existential threat to the entire planet.

31 years have passed since the adoption of the 4 May Declaration. Our true power lies within connections with other people, with the Latvian language, with a common goal, ideal, a shared dream. This is how we become stronger and change the reality, this is how we make it better for ourselves and those around us. Although we have encountered difficulties along the way, our experiences and accomplishments renew our enthusiasm and faith in the future of the state of Latvia, said Speaker Mūrniece, congratulating everyone on the on the 31st  anniversary of the restoration of the independence of Latvia.

 

Saeima Press Service

Sestdien, 22.janvārī