On 3 May 2019, President of Latvia Raimonds Vējonis will present the highest state awards of Latvia, namely the Order of the Three Stars, the Order of Viesturs, and the Cross of Recognition, at the solemn ceremony in the Riga Castle.
The highest state awards will be bestowed on the individuals both for the outstanding individual merits in the profession and for life-long contribution and successful activity.
All the medalled individuals share outstanding love of the Fatherland and selfless work for the benefit of Latvia. The award that each of the awardees will receive for their unique contribution is the highest acknowledgement of our country’s respect for work in Latvia and for Latvia. Therefore, the contribution and merits of all those people together and of each individually is equally outstanding and commendable.
According to the decision of the President of Latvia and the Chapter of Orders of 8 April 2019, the highest state awards are awarded to 103 individuals for their special merits in favour of Latvia: the Order of Three Stars to 49 people, the Order of Viesturs to 11 individuals, and the Cross of Recognition to 43 people.
This year marks 95 years since the Order of the Three Stars was established. On 25 March 1924, the first President of Latvia, Mr Jānis Čakste, proclaimed the Law of the Order of the Three Stars. It was the first civil order of the Republic of Latvia, the highest state award, a sign of recognition and affiliation. The Order of the Three Stars and its honorary mark may be awarded to individuals, military personnel and foreign individuals, foreign heads of state and heads of governments, heads of international organisations, foreign ambassadors, and other foreign officials.
The Order of the Three Stars is established with the motto “Per aspera ad astra” meaning through hardships to the stars. The First Order of the Three Stars, Class I was awarded to the founders of the Order, Jānis Čakste and Zigfrīds Meierovics, on 24 February 1925. Three days later, Kārlis Ulmanis and Rainis received the Order of Three Stars as well.
In 1938, in addition to the Order of the Three Stars, two other orders were established, that is, the Order of Viesturs and the Cross of Recognition.
After the strengthening of the independence of Latvia, the highest state award, the Order of the Three Stars, was restored in 1994, whereas the Order of Viesturs and the Cross of Recognition were reinstated in 2004.