Freedom

“For Fatherland and Freedom” (and for Radisson?) — Riga’s Freedom Memorial is very martial and very male. Whereas in Russia I was continually struck by the extent to which war memorials showed women, grieving women especially but also women soldiers and workers, here the dozens of figures are heroic men. The only women to be seen are the armed and armored angel in the center, the celebratory figure on the plinth, and a matron around back. I’ve never personally resonated with the “motherland” motif, but I’ve got to say I think I like “fatherland” even less.

Independence is my happiness, and I view things as they are, without regard to place or person; my country is the world, and my religion is to do good.

—Thomas Paine, The Rights of Man

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