Saeima did not make March 16 a national commemoration day

  • 2013-03-14

RIGA - Today, Saeima rejected All For Latvia!-For Fatherland And Freedom/LNNK (VL-TB/LNNK) amendments to the law On Holidays and Remembrance Days that stipulated designating March 16 Latvian Legion Day a national remembrance day.

VL-TB/LNNK pointed out that these changes would restore historical justice and foster respectful attitude from Latvia's officials and society towards Latvian soldiers.

However, ruling coalition partners did not support the idea making March 16 a national remembrance day.

"March 16 is not a day that unites society but rather a date that divides," Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis (Unity) previously told reporters after the Coalition Council's meeting. Reform Party member Inese Libina-Egnere agreed, saying that the motion, submitted shortly before the Latvian Legion Day, was an attempt by VL-TB/LNNK to "build political capital."

March 16 Latvian Legion Day is the day of remembrance of Latvian Legionnaires. Latvian Legion Day was established in exile by "Daugavas Vanagi." March 16 was chosen as the most appropriate date because on March 16, 1944 both divisions of the Latvian Legion fought alongside for the first time against the Red Army. It was the only battle in World War II led solely by Latvian commanders.