ALA’s Duhms, singer Kaupers among latest honorees

The chairman of the American Latvian Association, writer Zigmunds Skujiņš and Prāta Vētra lead singer Renārs Kaupers are among the latest recipients of the Order of Three Stars (Triju Zvaigžņu ordeņis).

The Chapter of Orders, part of the Latvian president’s office, on April 18 announced recipients of the Order of Three Stars, which is Latvia’s highest civilian award; the Order of Viesturs, given for accomplishments in military service; and the Cross of Recognition, presented for “patriotism and achievements for the good of the nation, society, culture, science, sports and education.”

Recipients of the Order of Three Stars, Fourth Class, are Santa Anča, editor-in-chief of the women’s magazine Santa; Juris Daniels Augusts of Indianapolis, Ind., chairman of the central board of the veterans group Daugavas Vanagi; Zigrīds Aumeisters, director of the state Baord of Patents; painter Biruta Baumane; surgeon and professor Viesturs Boks; spinal surgeon and professor Bencions Cerļukis; Mārtiņš Duhms, chair of the American Latvian Association; Jānis Garjāns, chair of the State Museum Administration; film director Aigars Grauba, whose Rīgas sargi has broken box office records in Latvia; Mihails Gruzdovs, artistic director of the Daile Theatre; painter and professor Edvards Grūbe; architect Modris Ģelzis; Davids Kagans, chair of the Jewish Religious Congregation of Rīga; pop group Prāta Vētra lead singer Renārs Kaupers; gynecologist Voldemārs Lejiņš, head of EGV Klīnika; Roberts Guntis Namatēvs, former senator of the Latvian Supreme Court; architect and business man Uldis Pīlēns, president of AS UPB Holdings; Zigurds Visvaldis Rīders of Avon Lake, Ohio, chair of the Daugavas Vanagi U.S. National Board; lawyer Roberts Rūsis, counselor to the president of the Bank of Latvia; and writer Zigmunds Skujiņš.

The Order of Three Stars, Fifth Class, will be presented to agronomist and businessman Normunds Audzišs, owner of the Dimdiņi farm near Gulbene; Gundars Bergs, former Bauska militia worker; marathon runner Jeļena Čelnova-Prokopčuka; Māris Kļaviņš, former Bauska militia worker; Agris Kociņš, former Bauska militia worker; Miķelis Lenerts-Rubenis, football (soccer) journalist and referee; Valērijs Markuns, former Bauska militia worker; professor and doctor Andrejs Skaģeris of the Rīga Stradiņš University; Nikolajs Stepanovs, chair of the Gulbene City Council; and Didzis Traumanis, former Bauska militia worker.

Recipients of the Order of Viesturs, Third Class, are Col. Leonīds Bogdanovs of the State Police’s criminal police board; Col. Andris Kalniņš, National Armed Forces defense attache to Bulgaria, Greece and Romania; and Col. Igors Rajevs, commander of land forces of the National Armed Forces.

The Order of Viesturs, Fourth Class, goes to Lt. Col. Sandris Brālēns, head of the logistics command of the National Armed Forces; Lt. Col. Leonīds Kalniņš of the National Guard; and Lt. Col. Andris Smočis of the State Police.

The Order of Viesturs, Fifth Class, will be presented to Edgars Skreija, chair of the National Soldiers’ Society of Latvia, and Capt. Edmunds Svenčs of the National Armed Forces land forces.

Recipients of the Order of Viesturs, Silver Medal of Honor, are Master Sgt. Atis Ģēģers of the National Armed Forces military police and Sgt. Aigars Kūms of the National Armed Forces First Infantry Battalion.

The Cross of Recognition, Second Class, is awarded to Laimdota Straujuma, the state secretary in the Ministry of Regional Development and Local Government Affairs, while a Third Class honor oes to Dzintars Pomers, former president of the Rīga International Airport.

Receiving the Cross of Recognition, Fourth Class, will be Anita Garanča, an associate professor in the Latvian Academy of Culture and a professor in the Latvian Academy of Music; Laima Grebska, director of the Nereta high school and president of the Latvian Association of Education Directors; Gaļina Guca, director of the Bērzupe special boarding school; Jānis Kivils, director of the Roja Music and Art School; Virdžīnija Lejiņa, a director at Latvian State Television; surgeon Mārtiņš Liepiņš of the Pauls Stradiņš Clinical Hospital; Ilga Astrīda Mežale, head of the anesthesiology and reanimation section of Vidzeme Hospital; Indra Morāne (Briķe), a Daile Theatre actress; and professor Jāzeps Sprūžs of the Latvian University of Agriculture.

The Cross of Recognition, Fifth Class, will be presented to Pēteris Briedis, head of the Kandava area Association of the Politically Repressed; Māra Burčaka, special education teacher and speech therapist in the Sabile high schoool; Anita Grope, head of social services in Mārupe County; landscape architect Ināra Māra Janelis; camerman Aivaras Kalniņš of Latvian State Television; Dainis Kriķis, assistant director of Rīga State Gymnasium No. 1; Pārsla Ķauķe, director of Limbaži High School No. 1; gastroenterologist Anita Lapiņa of the Gaiļezers Clinical Hospital; nurse Ināra Liepiņa of the Childrens Clinical Hospital; library scientist Anna Mauliņa, director of the Institute of Library Development;  Ilgvars Niedols, former chair of the Latvian Union of Civil Engineering; nurse Valija Paegle of Childrens Clinical Hospital; Dace Reinkopa, a chief inspector for the Ministry of Culture; ballerina Irēna Strode and professor and cultural worker Pēteris Zeile.

Recipients of the Cross of Recognition, Large Special Grade Medal of Honor, goes to Ēvalds Apīnis of the Ziemeļblāma Anti-Alcohol Society and to interior designer Leonīds Petrovs.

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

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