The U.S. Embassy held a reception in Tallinn's Maarjamäe neighborhood on Thursday celebrating both the upcoming Fourth of July and the 100th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Estonia.
In honor of the occasion, two U.S. Air Force F-35 Lightning II fighter jets assigned to the Vermont Air National Guard's 158th Fighter Wing and a KC-135 Stratotanker aerial refueling aircraft assigned to the 92nd Air Refueling Wing currently based out of Germany's Spangdahlem Air Base conducted a flyover over Tallinn.
The aircraft also flew over Riga and Vilnius as well, according to the U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa.
Embassy guests were greeted at the reception by U.S. Embassy Charge d'Affaires Brian Roraff, the ranking U.S. diplomat currently serving in Estonia in the ongoing absence of a new ambassador.
The U.S. celebrates Independence Day on July 4.
100 years of multifaceted relations
Diplomatic relations between the United States and the Republic of Estonia were formally established on July 28, 1922.
This April, the U.S. Embassy in Tallinn launched its "100 Days to 100 Years" campaign, previously described by Roraff as "celebrating not only the history of U.S.-Estonian relations, but also the people and organizations that have helped that relationship grow."
Among these events and projects marking the jubilee are the publishing of a book on U.S.-Estonian relations by the University of Tartu, a conference co-hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs taking place in Tallinn this Friday, a documentary to be aired on ETV and ETV+ in July, as well as several other musical performances, exhibitions, films and cultural activities across the country, "from Kuressaare to Narva, and Valga to Tallinn."
As part of the celebrations, the U.S. Embassy also launched USandEstonia.ee, a website featuring 100 moments from the first 100 years of the two countries' relations.
"Grouped into diplomatic milestones, security engagements, cultural events, and economic connections, these moments demonstrate the enduring friendship the United States and Estonia have shared over the past century," the introduction states.
Among the moments featured are milestones including the first U.S. envoy to Estonia presenting their credentials in 1922 and the embassy's move to its current home at Kentmanni in 1930, the release in 1940 of what became known as the Welles Declaration, in which the U.S. formally refused to recognize the Soviet occupation of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, and several presidential visits, but also the establishment of the Estonian Children's Summer Camp on Long Island in 1955, ESTO '76 in Baltimore, the establishment of the Maryland National Guard's state partnership with Estonia in 1993 and Estonia welcoming its first rotation of U.S. troops in 2014.
Editor: Aili Vahtla