Remarks by Ambassador Kārlis Eihenbaums at the Latvian flag raising ceremony in Ottawa on 18 November 2019.
Kārlis Eihenbaums, Ambassador of Latvia to Canada
Latvia at 101
City Hall of Ottawa, 18 November 2019
Mr. Deputy 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.
We are very honoured that you are celebrating my country’s one hundred and first birthday with us here in Ottawa — Canada’s lovely capital, that we have been proud to call home for the last three winters.
Just a few welcoming words in my native Latvian language:
Īpaši liels prieks ir par Jums, latviešiem, kas ieradušies no tuvuma un tāluma, lai svinētu Latvijas Republikas 101. valstiskuma gadadienu šajā agrajā rītā Kanādas glavaspilsētas sirdī pie Otavas rātsnama, paldies!
I’m very happy that we’ve finally begun building the monument, “Tribute to Liberty”, here in Ottawa in the Garden of Provinces.
It’s a monument to the victims of the regimes that stole people’s liberty, to the many who suffered, and, of course, to those who were fortunate enough to find their liberty again, here in Canada. This monument is very special for Latvian-Canadians, as it spotlights Canada as a welcoming land of refuge.
This monument is a reminder that the problems we’re seeing crop up on other continents are not just in someone else’s back yard. They’re very much global problems.
We give great thanks to Canada for not only the readiness to stand by our side as an ally, but also for the physical troop deployment in Latvia since 2017, which is to continue for a few more years.
It is no small task, and Canadian soldiers are serving protectors of democratic values. Canadians are the protectors of an international order that serves as a foundation for peace and stability. Canadians exemplify NATO solidarity in action.
Through its actions, Canada is confirming that it is ready to stand up and fight for common values in the face of those who cannot see distinctions between good and evil. Canada is ready to stand up to those who, unfortunately, have not learned the lessons of history.
Thank you for joining us, and being with us to celebrate our independence — for which a dear price was paid, and is not taken for granted.
We welcome Canada’s contribution to Euro-Atlantic defence, and feel honoured that Latvia is the host country for the Canadian-led NATO battlegroup.
I would like to conclude by expressing my appreciation for Latvians in Canada, and Canadians in Latvia, who, are making our countries stronger with their ideas, energy, and aspirations.
God, bless Latvia!
Thank you! Merci! Paldies!