1949 deportations commemorated in Riga

  • 2014-03-25
  • From wire reports, RIGA

Several commemorative events and concerts will take place in Riga today, Mach 25, honoring the thousands of Latvian citizens deported to Siberia on this date in 1949, reports LETA.

At 11 a.m., the Riga Latgale District's Association of Politically Repressed Persons will organize a memorial event at one of the railway stations – Skirotava - where the deportees were forced into train cars at gunpoint.

The traditional procession from the Museum of Occupation (12:30 p.m.) to the Freedom Monument will be followed by a flower laying ceremony (1:00 p.m.) at the base of the monument. Following the flower laying ceremony, participants in the event will be addressed by President Andris Berzins. Participating in the ceremony will be Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma, Saeima Chairwoman Solvita Aboltina, Saeima Presidium members and MPs, government members, National Armed Forces commanders, representatives from the Estonian and Lithuanian associations in Latvia, foreign ambassadors.

Various special concerts will also be held in the evening at the Small Guild Hall, the Riga Cathedral, as well as at the Edvards Smilgis Museum.

Historians call the 1949 deportations to Siberia one of the most tragic days in the modern history of Latvia.