'Presidential oaks' planted in Jelgava

Celebrating the birthday of the first president of Latvia Jānis Čakste (in office 1922–1927) a 'presidential square' has been created in Jelgava with an oak planted in honor of each of the ten presidents of Latvia, Latvian Television reported on September 15.

This year is 100 years since the institution of the President and Constitution has been established, so former presidents have also arrived at the formal anniversary event.

“We will plant trees here today in honor of each of the former presidents of the State, and this will create space in which we will be able to think about our Constitution's hundred years,” said the President of Latvia Egils Levits.

Former President of State Guntis Ulmanis said: “Today is my first outing, and I am very proud to have received strength and come here.”

Former President of Latvia Valdis Zatlers said: “Each has to plant one tree, it is very symbolic because the tree outlives us.”

Former President of Latvia Andris Bērziņš said: “Let the trees grow and live longer than the people.”

Former President of Latvia Raimonds Vējonis: “For us to know their history better, to remind us of our presidents, this presidential square will be very symbolic.”

Former President of Latvia Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga: “The former presidents have worked to build our country in their best conscience.”

Since the restoration of independence in 1991, Latvia has had five presidents.

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