Speech of the Ambassador of Latvia in Canada H.E. Karlis Eihenbaums at the Latvian Flag Raising Ceremony in Ottawa on 18 November 2017 for the 99th birthday of the Republic of Latvia.
“Your Worship, Mr. Mayor! Friends! Draugi!
My wife Ināra and I are very happy that today you are here in the heart of Ottawa for this symbolic flag raising ceremony.
I am glad that this year – 2017 – we have started to build a monument – “Tribute to Liberty”, which will highlight and spotlight Canada as a land of refuge. This will also be a monument to the victims of the regimes that stole people’s liberty, a monument to many who suffered and some few who were fortunate to find their liberty again in Canada.
It is a reminder to treat problems far away with the knowledge that, they may not be as far away as we think. I am glad that Latvia is among supporters of this monument to decency and respect, bringing, with its symbolic content, an important message to anyone visiting Canada’s beautiful capital and to the residents of Ottawa.
We give thanks to Canada for not only readiness to stand by our side as an Ally, but for actual troop deployment in Latvia over the course of the past year.
Your troops shoulder-to-shoulder with Spanish, Italian, Polish, Slovenian and Albanian brothers-in-arms are there and as a result – the world we want to go out and explore is much safer now for everyone.
Next year Czechs and Slovaks will join the Canadian-led battlegroup in Latvia. More than two thirds of Allies – at least 20 NATO countries have joined the battlegroups in the Baltic States and Poland. This enhanced forward presence is strong confirmation of reassurance and resolve.
Canada is confirming its worldwide engagement and leadership. The world needs more Canada and Canada is there. Ready to stand up and fight for what is common sense in the face of those who seem uncertain about distinctions between good and evil, and ready to square off with those who unfortunately have not learned the lessons of history.
I see a great future for Ottawa and Riga, and Canada working with Latvia. This future is on the way, and today let us look forward to it, as we look at the steps we have made in the right direction.
Thank you for joining us and being with us in support of independence that we all hold dear, this is independence for which a dear price was paid, independence that should not be treated lightly or taken for granted.
God, bless Latvia!
Thank you! Merci! Paldies! Aitah!”
Embassy of Latvia is thankful to all participants, particularly to His Worship Jim Watson, Mayor of Ottawa, to our Latvian community and to our Estonian friends for the support.