Defence authorities invite everyone to mark the Patriot Month by wearing the red-white-red ribbon and attending special events
As Latvia prepares for the Lāčplēsis Day, Ministry of Defence invites everyone living in Latvia start wearing the red-white-red ribbon with flaps upwards and join the celebrations of the 104th anniversary of Latvian army’s decisive victory in the War of Independence at one of the special events held traditionally.
Anniversary celebrations will begin on Monday, 6 November, at 14.00 when a special Independence War fire will be lit at the National War Museum. It will keep burning until 11 November. Military vehicles and equipment used by National Armed Forces and allied troops will also be on display from 9.00 to 19.00 at the Museum from 6 November. On 11 November, it will be open from 9.00 to 22.00.
The first event of the Lāčplēsis Day celebrations on 11 November, the Ecumenical Service at the Riga Cathedral, will start at 9.00.
At 11.00, after the service, Defence Minister Andris Sprūds and Lt Gen Leonīds Kalniņš, Chief of the Defence Staff, will lay wreaths at the Eternal Flame of the Riga Brethren Cemetery and hold a minute of silence in memory of Latvian soldiers who died fighting for Latvia’s national independence and freedom. Changing of the Guard ceremonies will take place at the Freedom Monument at 12.00 and the Riga Castle at 13.00.
Live broadcast of the commemorative retreat for soldiers lost in the War of Independence from the Riga Brethren Cemetery on the Latvian Television Channel 1 and TV24 will start at 18.00.
Lāčplēsis Day concert at the Great Guild, Sounds of Freedom, with a programme prepared by National Guard Orchestra, conductor Maj Andis Karelis and soloists, will also start at 18.00, while young bands will entertain crowds on the square by the National War Museum from 16.00 to 19:00 with their performance You are Latvia.
Anniversary-themed tours, lectures and workshops on the history of Latvia’s independence will also be available from 11 November to 18 November. Everyone who wants to find out more about their ancestry will also be welcome at the National War Museum.
Ministry of Defence invites everyone to mark the 18 November, National Independence Proclamation Day, by attending the military parade on the 11. novembra krastmala (Daugava riverfront), which will showcase the Latvian army and allied forces, military vehicles and also units and vehicles of the Interior Ministry.
While soldiers march on the riverfront, Riga Passenger Port will become the venue for the National Armed Force and State Border Guard vehicle show, which will be open from 11.00 until 16.00.
Ministry of Defence and National Armed Forces kindly invite everyone to take part in various commemorative events and pay tribute to soldiers who died fighting the War of Independence. You can also join troops and National Guard members in marking the crucial victories of the Latvian army 104 years ago. Troops, National Guard and Cadet Force members will play active role in many events commemorating the War of Independence all over Latvia.
Lāčplēsis Day marks the victory of independent Latvia’s armed forces over the West Russian Volunteer Army, or Bermont’s Army, on 11 November 1919.
Latvian army launched the decisive attack on Bermont’s Army on 3 November. Despite heavy battles, it managed to push Bermont’s troops out of Riga by 11 November. 743 Latvian troops died during these attacks against Bermont. 57 of them were officers.
One of the highest military decorations of Latvia, Order of Lāčplēsis, established in 1919 and bearing words “For Latvia”, is a significant part of the 11 November celebrations. It was initially awarded to Latvian army troops, former members of the Latvian Riflemen Regiment and foreign soldiers who fought in the Latvian War of Independence or played an important role and made significant contribution to formation of the Latvian State. Order of Lāčplēsis has been presented to 2,146 recipients.
War of Independence broke out on 18 November 1918, the day when independent Republic of Latvia was proclaimed, and lasted until 11 August 1920, the day when the Latvian–Soviet Peace Treaty was signed. Parliament has designated the 11 August the National Freedom Fighters Day.
Please follow Facebook accounts of the Ministry of Defence, Latvian Armed Forces, Esmu karavīrs/I am a soldier and Latvian Television News Service for additional information about anniversary programme.
Information prepared by:
MoD Military Public Affairs Department
Media Relations Section