An annual Blue Hepatica (Let Us Salute!) Campaign began on Thursday to offer support to Estonian Defense Force and Defense League veterans.
Proceeds from selling blue hepatica flower pins and other donations will go toward purchase a rehabilitation robot system for the Haapsalu Neurological Rehabilitation Center. The device is necessary for the treatment of wounded veterans and other patients with severe spinal cord and brain injuries.
The campaign, held for the third time, is similar to “poppy campaign” in the UK, Canada and Australia, to commemorate and support soldiers. The campaign will conclude with the Veteran’s Day on April 23. The events of that day will culminate with a traditional rock concert on the Freedom Square, headlined by Kosmikud and Winny Puhh.
A charity run, featuring several well-known Estonian athletes who are serving in the Defense Forces, took place on Sunday, April 12, on the Pirita promenade, a paved seaside path from Kadriorg to Pirita. The 3.2-kilometer run had over 300 participants, including PM Taavi Rõivas, and was won by biathlonist Indrek Tobreluts.
Estonia has nearly 3,000 veterans who have participated in Allied operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and Mali. A total of 11 soldiers lost their lives during these operations.
The campaign is organized by the Estonian Association of Wounded Warriors and Women’s Voluntary Defense Organization.
Last year, the campaign raised almost 68,000 euros, which went towards rehabilitation unit at the East-Tallinn Hospital.
“In addition to its emotional value, the Blue Hepatica flower campaign provides even better treatment opportunities for both veterans and other patients. We are pleased that by now as many as 100 patients have received rehabilitation services using the device purchased with the proceeds of last year’s campaign,” said Staff Sergeant and veteran Rasmus Penno, who is a member of the Estonian Association of Wounded Warriors.
Each Hepatica flower pin is uniquely crafted by people with special needs all over Estonia and are distributed by the Hea Hoog Foundation. The flower pins are sold in Selver outlets, Rahva Raamat bookshops, SEBE buses marked with a Blue Hepatica flower, Olerex gas stations, R-kiosks, and Tallinn Airport shops from April 9 to May 3. Donations can be made here.
Editor: S. Tambur, M. Oll