Latvia commemorates WWII victims on May 8

May 8 is the day in Europe and Latvia to commemorate the defeat of Nazism and the victims of the Second World War. Commemorations are held in several Latvian cities, including, as every year, at the Riga Brethren (Brāļu) Cemetery, where wreaths and flowers were laid by the country's top officials.

Latvia's top officials began the commemoration at the gates of the cemetery, from where they walked, accompanied by church bells, through a large avenue of lime trees to the Heroes' Terrace, where they laid flowers and wreaths. The National Armed Forces Staff Band provided the musical accompaniment during the commemoration. Afterwards, the Chaplain led a memorial service for the fallen, and the Latvian National Anthem was sung.

The President of Latvia Edgars Rinkēvičs, the Speaker of the Saeima Daiga Mieriņa (Greens and Farmers Union), the Prime Minister Evika Siliņa (New Unity) and the Minister of Defese Andris Sprūds (Progressives) attended the commemoration. Also the leadership of the Armed Forces - Lieutenant General Leonīds Kalniņš, Commander of the National Armed Forces (NBS), and Colonel Normunds Baranovs, Commander of the 1st Riga Brigade of the National Guard, as well as other ministers, MPs, soldiers, servicemen and youth guards.

The President of Latvia stressed why it is important to remember this day and the events related to it and to commemorate the victims of the Second World War: "In the light of what is happening in Europe today, where war is raging, where there is Russian aggression against Ukraine, where we are perhaps today more than in any other year thinking that peace is fragile, and what once seemed impossible - war, war as it was almost 80 years ago - is once again possible. In honoring the fallen, in honoring all those who fought and fell for Latvia, fought in the Second World War, fought against Nazism, we remind ourselves somewhere that, unfortunately, history can repeat itself. Our task is to prevent it."


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