Marking the 68th anniversary of the Victory in Europe Day of World War II, the Latvian government on Wednesday held a grand ceremony to mourn victims during that war.
Latvian President Andris Berzins, Saima Chairwoman Solvita Aboltina, Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis, as well as foreign and defense ministers, representatives of World War II veterans and foreign ambassadors, more than 200 people, laid flowers at the cenotaph in Riga Brethren Cemetery.
World War II left scars of war to Latvia, but years of social incompatibility is more. During World War II, part of the Latvian joined the Soviet Red Army and fought against the German Fascists. Meanwhile some Latvians joined the Waffen SS and fought against the Soviet Red Army.
President Berzins has devoted himself to eliminate the gap between the two groups. It is a positive sign that many old Soviet Red Army soldiers came and mourned the victims today, which means the reconciliation of the two groups is developing in a difficult situation.
Answering reporters' questions after the ceremony, Berzins said he was pleased at the development of reconciliation of the old soldiers in the two groups.
"These old soldiers understand we live in the same land and we share a common future. We place our hopes on Latvian young people, there are no wars between them, only friendship. They will build the common future," he said.
An old soldier attending the ceremony told reporters he was the youngest among the old soldiers, although he was 87 years old now. He joined the navy when he was 19.
"As an eyewitnesses of the wars, I know war is cruel. We must not forget the war, in order to abandon the war, safeguard and share world peace for ever," he said.