RIGA - Latvian President Vaira Vike-Freiberga used her Nov. 18 Independence Day address to express gratitude to conscripts and soldiers participating in multi-national missions abroad.
In her address to the units of the Latvian National Armed Forces, the president pointed out that the last conscripts of mandatory military service were due to be discharged from army in a few days time.
"I want to thank all who have served with our armed forces since the restoration of independence, who helped the armed forces develop and grow," Vike-Freiberga said. She wished for the troops of mandatory service to retain soldiers' "discipline and stamina" for the rest of their lives.
The president also thanked the troops who are currently participating in peacekeeping missions in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.
Thousands of people, some of them holding Latvian national flags and flowers, turned out to watch the Independence Day parade on the November 18 Embankment in Riga.