RIGA — The following is my translation of the editorial published in the Russian-language newspaper Segodnya on November 18, 1925, Latvia’s 7th independence anniversary. I kept the original emboldened text.
Seven years of independence, seven years of independent existence … In the history of the nation, this is a short term. But for the newly created state, it is considerable, the testing period of our viability and a possibility of independent political existence. Our country has withstood this test and the acknowledgement of this basic fact is the greatest achievement of these difficult first years. Sacrifices had not been offered in vain, the blood of freedom fighters, whom we have to remember first of all today, was spilled onto the native land as fruitful seeds from which a mighty tree of liberty and independence is growing.
Today’s celebration must remind us of great values, which we’ve obtained seven years ago. Those values have not disappeared, but have developed and strengthened. Liberty, democratic system, equality of all before the law — these are the benefits we often forget amidst workaday life, political squabbles and quarrels. With all imperfection of our system, with all its shortcomings, in the presence of these fundamentals presents citizens with an opportunity to feel as free people, who live in a free country, who have an opportunity to develop their own individual strengths, develop their own pecuniary and spiritual culture. Only by comparison with the enslavement one can cherish the true happiness of liberty. We often underestimate the great importance for each of us the opportunity to employ basic rights of personal immunity, right to own property and security. These benefits must be cherished as the apple of one’s eye and be placed above various political arguments and disagreements.
We have been reminded of this in the recent days when the country found a new master, the newly elected Saeima. With all diversity of the political parties, with all diversity of interests, the idea of supreme sovereignty must be paramount and not a single government combination should — or better yet must — not weaken it. Unfortunately, very often the fog of political squabbles hides the basic principles of our state, built on equality and liberty. For harmonious development of our country, it is necessary to use all forces capable of creation. Not a single one of them must be discarded under the influence of various sentiments. Again, it is impossible to hide the fact that this demand for a correct development of our political life is not being followed. Attitude toward national minorities, which is so vividly shown in recent days, is a striking illustration of this prejudice that is not suitable for the state and is harmful to the state.
Without a slight exaggeration, one can say the fundamentals of the state, which came into existence seven years ago and are enshrined into the Constitution presented an opportunity to build a state and its institutions for the benefit of all citizens. It is necessary for the current builders to follow the style of the building, so that they would not build annexes from the previous periods and eras.
After the first years of trials, the creative work is quite possible. And the international situation does not interfere. Locarno Treaties delivers a new spirit of peace and promises in the future to create stable necessary balance and for new states a much-needed peace. Latvia, in the last seven years, has striven to do anything possible to solidify peace, and of course, in the future it will be faithful to this policy.
In a Russian fairy-tale, a child who has just turned 7 is the most skilled person in solving riddles presented before him. He solves them quickly and get a piece of good luck for himself and his near relations.
Let our seven-year-old country be as lucky and as happy in resolving complicated riddles put before her. For behind all party and class disagreements lies something unifying, something that stand above all squabbles. It is prosperity — both financial and spiritual – for all people inhabiting this country regardless of their class or nationality.