The first festive event of the 99th anniversary of the Republic of Estonia was hoisting the flag on the Pikk Hermann tower on Tallinn’s Toompea Hill at sunrise.
Every day, the Estonian flag is hoisted at sunrise, and taken down at sunset. On Independence Day this is a special event that attracts plenty of people every year. Representatives of student organizations, choirs, and other groups close to Estonian traditions attend it.
President of the Riigikogu Eiki Nestor (SDE) held a speech on Friday morning. Nestor pointed out that the centenary was not far away anymore. While many of the Western countries were already several centuries old, Estonia was not, and it had always said so honestly in its dealings with other nations, Nestor said.
Everyone had one more year to enjoy this youth and behave accordingly, Nestor said, as in just a year, the country would have reached a solid age, an age where all Estonians could be and should be even more dignified, but also more grown-up.
Nestor said that Estonia’s difficult childhood brought yet another obligation along, namely to keep its allies in mind. In today’s world, nobody could prevail alone, no matter whether a hundred or many hundred years old.
Estonia would not lose its young and inquisitive spirit, its openness, and the wish to continuously create and work on this country, to go forward, and not to shut itself from the world.
Nestor mentioned how the Independence Day greetings of a class of third-year primary schoolchildren left a particularly memorable impression with him. Asked what she liked best about Estonia, a girl answered: “Estonia is a beautiful country, and war might never come here again. I’m not afraid that it might come.” This, Nestor said, was the greatest expression of gratitude the generation that had to live under Soviet occupation could ever hope to hear.
Editor's comment: We would like to show our readers the whole gallery of images of the ceremony. Unfortunately, as it is often the case with brand new systems, ERR News' back-end does not currently allow for galleries. We hope the problem can be dealt with soon, but as it is Independence Day, this might take some time. We will post the full gallery as soon as we can.
Editor: Dario Cavegn