Gallery: Hoisting the Estonian flag at sunrise
The Estonian flag is flown from sunrise to sunset. On the occasion of the 98th anniversary of the republic, several hundred people attended the hoisting of the flag on Pikk Hermann Tower on Toompea on Wednesday morning.
Eiki Nestor, President of the Riigikogu, spoke at the ceremony. Nestor stressed that what today's Estonia needed was tolerance, and that tolerance was also what the authors of the country's declaration of independence had wished for in 1918.
Thinking of his children and grandchildren, Nestor said that he was sure that they were proud Estonians as well as worthy Europeans and cosmopolitans. "They know that new things ought to be discovered, not feared. That it is necessary to learn from the past, especially when something has gone wrong. That they live in a world where one gets joy out of working together."
He said that it was his wish that the coming generations would live in an open and creative country, and that they wouldn't just be happy with what they had, but that they would keep working to make the world a better place. Future generations should never have to dream of an independent Estonia ever again, but find "a proud, worthy and independent Estonia as natural as they find sunrise, or singing with friends."
The ceremony ended a good half hour later, when the various groups and fraternities that attended the event began their march down the hill towards Freedom Square, where they would participate in the laying of wreaths at the Victory Column.