RIGA - Last night, Latvian President Egils Levits privately visited the Freedom monument to light a candle in support of tradition to commemorate and pay tribute to members of the national resistance movement on this day established by civil society, LETA was informed by the Presidential Chancery.
Levits has urged the Saeima to designate March 17 as the National Resistance Movement Day.
''Given the notable diversity, size and active years of various forms of national resistance movement, this would be the day to commemorate and honor all those who held independent and democratic Latvia dear, fighting against both occupation powers, the Nazi Germany and the USSR. I invite everyone to honor and commemorate all national resistance movement members on March 17 each year. In today’s world, we need to remember and honor our heroes, to remind ourselves that freedom, independence and democracy of Latvia are values worth dying for, to remind ourselves that we too have the duty to protect and defend these values in the future,'' the president said.
March 17 is a symbolic date in Latvia. On March 17, 1944, the Latvian Central Council led by Professor Konstantins Cakste collected almost 200 signatures for memorandum demanding the restoration of independent and democratic republic of Latvia based on the Satversme (Constitution) on behalf of the Latvian people. It is also the day when despite being outnumbered, a joint Latvian-Lithuanian partisan group won its last battle in Ile Forest in 1949.