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Minute's silence Wednesday morning marks end of the Estonian War of Independence

The 1918-1920 War of Independence Monument at the Victory Column in Freedom Square, Tallinn.
The 1918-1920 War of Independence Monument at the Victory Column in Freedom Square, Tallinn. Source: Ministry of Defense

A minute's silence across Estonia on Wednesday morning is to mark 104 years since the guns fell silent at the end of the Estonian War of Independence.

The minute's silence begins at 10.30 a.m. Estonian time, Wednesday, January 3.

Tallinn

From 10.33 a.m., Minister of Defense Hanno Pevkur (Reform) gives a speech at the Victory Column in Freedom Square (Vabaduse väljak) in Tallinn, with representatives from schools, academic fraternities and the Lutheran church to also appear.

Estonian Defense Forces (EDF) commander Gen. Martin Herem along with commander of the volunteer Defense League (Kaitseliit) Maj. Gen, Ilmar Tamm are to place wreaths at the foot of the Victory Column.

Tartu

In Tartu, the solemnities take place at the Kalevipoeg War of Independence Monument (Tartu Vabadussõja mälestussammas) in Estonia's second city, with representatives of the City of Tartu, the EDF's 2nd Infantry Brigade, which covers South Estonia, and the Tartu-based Estonian National Defense College (Kaitseväe Akadeemia) all laying wreaths.

The Kalevipoeg monument in Tartu. Source: Gabriela Liivamägi/Tartu City Government

The service starts at 10.25 a.m., to be led by Priit Tamm, padre of the Tartu Defense League district.

A minute's silence has been held every year in memory of the fallen in the 1918-1920 Estonian War of Independence, starting from the 1920s, and the day is also a National Flag Day, meaning public buildings are to fly the Estonian blue-black-white from before dawn to the evening. This is optional, though encouraged, in privately-owned buildings and residences.

The armistice was signed between the Estonian state and the fledgling Soviet Russian state on the last day of 1919 and provided for hostilities to formally end at 10.30 a.m. on January 3.

A month later, on February 2, the signing of the Treaty of Tartu formalized Estonia's independence and its borders.

The estimated losses arising from the war, on both sides and from all causes (for instance including those who died in captivity), is over 6,000 people.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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