Defense League looking to mark all War of Independence graves
The Estonian Defense League wants to mark all graves of people who fell in the Estonian War of Independence and those given the Cross of Liberty in Estonia. An activity plan has been drawn up, while financing remains questionable.
Estonia has close to 2,000 graves of people killed in the War of Independence casualties and on whom the Cross of Liberty was bestowed, nearly 40 of them are marked.
"The War of Independence History Society has visited almost all Estonian cemeteries in the last 20 years and has lists of people killed in the war, where they were buried and who was awarded the Cross of Liberty. Most grave sites are also known, while they need to be marked again," said Peeter Paenurm, head chaplain of the Defense League.
The exact model of funding will be decided once all graves have been mapped.
"We should draw up a budget to learn how much putting it all in order would cost, marking these graves with medallions," said Hellar Lill, director of the Estonian War Museum.
While the graves of those who fell in the War of Independence are governed by the Protection of War Graves Act, this does not apply to all persons who were awarded the Cross of Liberty.
Lill said that the law only regulates the graves of people who fell in wars, and while some who got the Cross of Liberty did, others went on to live.
Peeter Paenurm suggested that while these graves could be registered as historical or cultural monuments, adding around 1,000 graves to the register would be unrealistic at this time.
Paenurm said that the most difficult part is contacting the next of kin of the fallen and establish contact with them.
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Editor: Marcus Turovski