Estonia on Sunday celebrated the restoration of its independence in 1991. All over the country people came together for concerts, events, and speeches. The latter revolved around freedom, and the country and society’s values and moral compass.
In Tartu a ceremony was held at the Kalevipoeg monument, erected to honor the memory of those fallen in Estonia’s war of independence between 1918 and 1920. At the ceremony Joona Toivanen, the local minister of the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church, said that people were only ever as free as those around them.
In Koeru in Järva County, a park dedicated to Estonia’s struggle for freedom was opened to the public. Another monument to the fallen of the war of independence was restored there already 19 years ago, while the idea of adding a park came up as Estonia moved closer to its 100th anniversary.
On the island of Muhu in Western Estonia, Saaremaa Sõjavara Selts, the charity running the local war museum, staged a battle that took place almost 100 years ago.
The battle in question was one of the First World War’s largest landing operations. The Imperial German Army took Estonia’s major islands of Saaremaa, Hiiumaa, and Muhu, all of which were part of the territory of the Russian Empire at the time. Saaremaa Sõjavara Selts staged the German landing outside the village of Koguva on Muhu.
A reception was held at the presidential residence in Kadriorg as well. The so-called Rosegarden Reception was introduced by President Kersti Kaljulaid’s predecessor, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, and next to politicians and dignitaries usually sees the attendance of the cream of the crop of Estonian cultural and intellectual life. ERR News will run a separate article with the president’s speech and a gallery.
Editor: Dario Cavegn