Thousands turn out for May 4

Latvians turned out in their thousands May 4 to mark the restoration of the country's independence 27 years ago in a variety of ways.

Around 1,500 turned out to watch a military parade in the city of Liepaja in which around 500 military personnel plus police, border guards and firefighters took part.

US, Canadian and German troops were among those participating.

Addressing the crowds President Raimonds Vejonis said:

"We are proud of Latvia, of our home and freedom. No-one gifted us our country and our independence. We had to fight for it ourselves."

On the other side of the country in Rezekne, VIPs turned out by the dozen to attend a concert int he GORS arts center.

As might be expected, considerably larger numbers turned out in the capital Riga where a series of river-side concerts and other activities reached their conclusion with a spectacular firework display. 

A busy day for public officials including Vejonis, Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis and parliamentary speaker Inara Murniece saw them variously planting oak trees, making speeches in honor of Latvia's freedom and listening to people's ideas and concerns as part of the "White tablecloth day" initiative.


 

 

 

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