RIGA - ''On our national holiday, November 18, I wish to protect our strong roots, while always remembering the future - about young people who already often know more than us, and about everyone who does not allow him or herself to become cynical or powerless, but acts to make our country more intelligent, humane and happier,'' Riga Mayor Martins Stakis said at the ceremonious meeting of the Riga City Council on Friday.
The politician expressed that freedom is stubborn and it is not easy to break it. In the liberated Kherson, Ukrainians brought out the blue and yellow flags of Ukraine from their hiding places - similarly, Latvian families kept Latvian flags in their hiding places for decades, thus protecting the idea of our roots - freedom, language and culture, noted Stakis, saying that those flags who were once not given up to the enemy and hidden, kept by refugees or those who were made captives, the red and white flags and their stories are now displayed in the urban environment.
"Just don't give up your roots" - that's what Knuts Skujenieks wrote, who, despite being imprisoned in a camp in inhumane conditions, never gave in to despair and didn't indulge in resentment, said the mayor of Riga. According to him, Skujenieks' poetry radiates strength, stubbornness and affirmation of life, which, according to Stakis, are the qualities that allowed the Latvian people to protect their roots along with the hidden flags.
The politician emphasized that we can be proud of every person who does not give up and gives work to war refugees, organizes support campaigns for Ukraine, and even entire aid convoys. We should be proud of everyone who takes care of Latvian children, supports seriously ill people, organizes activities to improve their neighborhood, city and country, noted the head of the Riga City Council.
In Stakis' view, the actions of such people are a proof that Latvia is a value both for its inhabitants and also gives value to others, because the country is not an isolated island, but "a force that represents the fight for good even on a global scale".
"Some will say - enough about Ukraine, we should think more about ourselves. However, such silence, withdrawing into ourselves in the hope that everything will somehow pass, would be helping the enemy. Ukraine should be supported until its victory," the politician stressed.
Therefore, on the date of Latvia's independence, in the Riga City Council we honor and welcome people who have helped Ukrainians with their actions, said Stakis. He believes that these examples can unite residents for a common idea and work for the benefit of the people.