Commander of the Estonian Defense Forces (EDF) Gen. Martin Herem, Estonian Minister of Defense Hanno Pevkur (Reform) and representatives of the Estonian Reserve Officers' Association (EROK), unveiled a bust of Lt. Gen. Johannes Kert on Tuesday in Võru, in the square in front of Taara barracks.
The project to create the bust was initiated by the Estonian Reserve Officers' Association (EROK), which raised more than €60,000 to do so.
"Gen. Kert was one of the first military unit commanders, commander of the Defense League (Kaitseliit) and commander of the Defense Forces (EDF), whose example and role in building up the Defense Forces cannot be overstated. He supported the creation of the Estonian Reserve Officers' Association in 1997, and it was largely thanks to him that Estonia maintained the reserve service-based model of national defense that it had at the time," said EROK board member Maj. Andre Lilleleht.
"General Kert was a role model for many of today's active and reserve officers due to his world view and principles. His wish for 'wise resilience' is remembered by all who knew him. He was a courageous visionary, who led the establishment of the Tallinn NATO Cyber Defense Center. It is safe to say that the Estonian Defense Forces and the Reserve Forces bear the image of Gen. Kert."
General Kert was the first commander of the Kuperjanov Battalion in the newly independent Estonia, which led to the decision to erect the memorial monument at the Taara barracks. The bronze memorial was created by the sculptor Simson from Seaküla (Aivar Simson). The Estonian state contributed to the creation of the sculpture by funding the building of the base for the bust.
Editor: Michael Cole