RIGA - Latvia is one of the countries that suffered the most during World War II, even though it did not participate in the war as a country, President Egils Levits said in during an event in Riga Brethren Cemetery today honoring the victory over Nazism and victims of World War II, as Justine Deicmane from the President's Chancery informed LETA.
Marking the end of World War II in Europe on May 8, Latvia stands together with its friends in Western Europe, for which May 8 brought freedom in 1945.
"To us, that day did not bring freedom, but we are showing solidarity with the people of Denmark, Norway, Netherlands, Belgium, France and many other nations of Europe that were liberated on this day," said Levits.
Latvia regained independence only in 1990, 45 years after the war ended, said Levits.
"On May 8, we are remembering victims of World War II," Levits went on to say. "Our men were conscripted into the armies on both sides, they were fighting for foreign goals, and Latvia also had a lot of civilian casualties," he said.
On the other hand, Europe Day will be celebrated on May 9. This day commemorates the 1950 Schuman Declaration, which later became the basis of the European Union. May 9 unites all the EU member countries, including Latvia, said Levits.