Kaja Kallas: We will not surrender, we will not give up
Today we celebrate our independence and our freedom and we also celebrate the fact that Ukraine has persevered for an entire year, Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said in her Independence Day speech.
President of the Republic of Estonia and President of the Riigikogu!
President of the European Commission and Secretary General of NATO,
Dear people of Estonia!
Today we celebrate our independence and our freedom. And we also celebrate the fact that Ukraine has persevered for an entire year. We have stood by Ukraine for a year.
We are not standing alone. NATO and the European Union are with us. To be precise — we are the European Union and NATO.
Today, on the 105th anniversary of the Republic of Estonia, President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen and Secretary General of NATO Jens Stoltenberg are with us.
We will stand together here in Freedom Square, and we will stand together with Ukraine until Ukraine has won this war.
The past year has shown more clearly than ever before the greatness of spirit of the people of Estonia. Our people remember what it means to be occupied by an aggressive neighbor, and our people know that peace does not always mean peace and freedom.
The ancient Greek historian Thucydides said that the secret to happiness is freedom, and the secret to freedom is courage. Just as Estonia gathered the courage to become free in 1918, Ukrainians are also fighting bravely for their freedom.
I am proud of all those who have provided assistance to war refugees and who have made the decision to support Ukraine in their fight for freedom for all of us. And I sincerely thank everyone who, in any way, contributes to the defense of Estonia's security.
The tradition of the moment of silence has deep roots in history. A moment of silence was spent in contemplation, honoring those who lost their lives in war, and another moment was spent in gratitude for those who returned alive. We honor the memory of those who have fallen in Ukraine, and we think of all those who are currently defending the freedom of all of us in Ukraine. Let's take a moment and bow our heads.
Thank you, people of Estonia, thank you allies. Together, we will overcome our greatest concerns, we will not surrender, we will not give up. Never again.
Long live Estonia!
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Editor: Helen Wright