Latvia's state president Raimonds Vējonis on November 17 posted a video message online in which he reflects on the significance of the centenary of the country's founding on November 18, 1918.
Speaking from Rīga Castle, Vējonis offers congratulations to Latvians everywhere.
"I sincerely congratulate you on the 100th anniversary of Latvia's independence! During these hundred years we have fought and stood up for the independence of our state and the freedom to freely decide our fate. Today, we can be truly proud of the achievements of our country. We have done all this together," Vējonis said.
Faith and belief in the idea of a Latvian state kept it alive during periods of occupation and made it possible regain freedom later, he said, before turning to the issue of the large Latvia diaspora.
"After the restoration of Latvia's independence, many people have gone abroad. The chance to travel and strive for your hopes and fulfill your dreams anywhere in the world is one of the most important benefits of freedom. The knowledge and experience of the world will always be your wealth. This is the wealth that I invite you to share in order to bring our Latvia together as a modern and prosperous country," the President said before expressing the hope that the recently-elected Saeima would help persuade Latvians overseas to return home in the future.
"Let us celebrate the one hundredth birthday of our country! Let's go and do all or our work with pride, with our heads held high and love for our Latvia!" he concluded.