Latvia celebrates 20 years of independence

  • 2010-05-04
  • Oskars Magone

Latvia President Valdis Zatlers (left) attended a special church service in the morning before the official flag raising ceremony.

RIGA -- The Baltic State of Latvia today celebrates the 20th anniversary of the restoration of independence with a slew of events.

Special events will take place throughout the day along the banks of the river Daugava in the capital city of Riga, news portal Apollo reported.

"We have tried to make the May 4 celebration a true feast for all the people of Riga and Riga's guests, so everyone could enjoy this day for our country and feel truly elated. I invite all to participate in these celebrations," said Riga city Mayor Nils Usakovs.

Events in Riga will focus on countryside life, with numerous exhibits and shows from small-town craftsmen, song and dance groups, and games.

The US' chief diplomat has also sent her congratulations to Latvia on its anniversary.

"Two decades ago, in the face of uncertainty and danger, your legislature voted to restore Latvia’s sovereignty, breaking the Soviet Union’s hold over your country. That brave decision was backed by the will of the Latvian people, many of whom risked their lives to make sure that they defended independence," US secretary of State Hilary Clinton said in a press release.