Freedom is Never Absolute, Says '20th of August Club'
The 20th of August Club - the Supreme Soviet members of Estonia who voted in favor of independence in 1991 - met yesterday to mark 22 years since Estonia regained its sovereignty.
Gathering at the Estonian Parliament building, where the historical vote was carried out, members stressed that freedom should not be taken for granted, reported ETV.
One of the former deputies, Rein Veidemann, said that small countries must realize that their freedom is always at risk of being lost.
"We can never be sure that things will remain as they are until the end. Instead, we must always acknowledge to ourselves that we must be ready in the event that they cease to be,” Veidemann said.
He also warned of internal dangers, such as social division and the current demographic situation in Estonia. "There is a danger of a demographic collapse as people leave the country," he said.
Another member of the club, Ene Ergma, who currently holds the position of speaker of Parliament, said: "The main danger is that we all think that everything has been accomplished and why should we do anything else? We scatter around the wide world and we have great opportunities there.”
Ergma expressed concern that young people do not appreciate freedom as much as the elderly.
She continued: "Cicero said that freedom that has been oppressed and won back is a much stronger feeling than that which has never fallen into danger. Yes, those who have seen different times, who have experienced physical or mental imprisonment, know how to value freedom.”
"I wish that the importance of freedom were understood by and important to young people as well. For that reason the story of our nation's restoration of independence cannot be forgotten in the future.”