President Kersti Kaljulaid is in Narva, where the centennial of the ceasefire in the War of Independence and those to have died in the war are being commemorated on Friday.
The centennial of the anniversary began with a ceremonial formation at Peetri plats in Narva's city center. A nationwide moment of silence was observed at 10:30 a.m. in honor of those who died in the war, which in Narva was followed by the president's speech.
"Maintaining allied relations requires effort and care from all politicians, diplomats and troops," Kaljulaid said according to an Office of the President press release. "Over the past 100 ears, time has made no adjustments whatsoever to this matter. Without our allies, we would not have won the War of Independence. We cannot get by without our allies today either, as British troops likewise stand in formation with the 1st Infantry Battalion in Peetri plats."
According to the head of state, Narva is a very appropriate place to mark Friday's centennial, as it is the city of Narva where several distinctive threads from the story of the War of Independence intertwine.
"Narva has always been home to many peoples," she highlighted. "Likewise multinational was the Estonian People's Army to go to war in 1918, where representatives of all the people's who lived in Estonia fought and died alongside Estonians — Russians, Germans, Jews, Swedes. Because the Estonian Declaration of Independence likewise began by addressing all the peoples of Estonia, and promised equal protection of all of its citizens irrespective of their ethnic origin, religion or political views. The War of Independence was the joint victory of all peoples of Estonia. The War of Independence and 20 years of nationhood demonstrated that it is a free, independent and democratic Estonian state that is capable of defending the rights and welfare of the people of Estonia."
Kaljulaid will also lay a wreath at the War of Independence Memorial in Siivertsi Cemetery.
The Estonian War of Independence, which began on November 28, 1918, concluded with the beginning of a ceasefire at 10:30 a.m. on January 3, 2020. The Treaty of Tartu was ultimately signed between Estonia and Soviet Russia in Tartu on February 2.
Friday's ceremonial formation in Narva was organized by the 1st Infantry Brigade of the Estonian Defence Forces (EDF) alongside Narva city government, the Estonian Defence League (Kaitseliit) and other power structures.
Editor: Aili Vahtla