The Estonian Defence League organized a nearly thousand-strong Victory Day parade in Rakvere on Friday morning.
Volunteer Estonian Defence League units from the Viru, Alutaguse, Jõgeva and Järva Districts as well as units and representatives from the Women's Voluntary Defence Organization (Naiskodukaitse), Young Eagles (Noored Kotkad) and Home Daughters (Kodutütred) youth organizations, the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) and other organizations took part in the Victory Day ceremony and parade in Rakvere.
Also represented in the parade were the armed forces of France, the U.K., the U.S., Latvia, Lithuania and Denmark, and music was provided by the orchestras of the Estonian Defence Forces (EDF) and the Defence League.
This year's parade did not include heavy military equipment in order to prevent extra wear on Rakvere's city streets.
Victory Day, which has been celebrated since 1934, marks a key victory of Estonian forces and their allies against German forces in the 1919 Battle of Võnnu (near Cēsis, Latvia), which was fought as part of the 1918-1920 War of Independence. The holiday is also used to mark the contributions of Estonians in their fights to regain and retain Estonian independence.
June 23 and 24 are both public holidays in Estonia, with Victory Day being celebrated on June 23 and Midsummer on June 24. By law, the state flag is not to be lowered overnight between June 23-24.
Editor: Aili Vahtla