In an emotional speech at Toompea Castle on Saturday morning, President of the Riigikogu Eiki Nestor (SDE) tried to put the feelings into words that are moving many Estonians today. Evoking the members of the Salvation Committee and the Provincial Assembly of one hundred years ago, Nestor said that on the day of its 100th anniversary, Estonia is better protected and more prosperous than ever before.
Good morning, my dear Estonia!
Congratulations to you on the 100th anniversary of becoming an independent country! Those thousands of people who have come here to Toompea to raise the flag in your honour, and those who follow the events of this morning together with us at their homes, and those who just think more of you today – they all also wish you a happy anniversary.
Dear Estonia! You are something great and unfathomable to us. You are something so natural and self-evident that it is impossible to explain it with reason.
Thus, I would like to explain it through feelings.
Estonia! You are like respect for mother and father who have cared for us and raised us. You are an instant wish to protect one’s spouse, children and grandchildren if a danger threatens them.
You are a great and holy secret that we kept in our bosom, hidden from our enemy. You are the song we sing and the dance we dance. You are an alphabet book and you are arithmetic.
You are sea and junipers, bogs and marshes, Midsummer Day and Christmas. You are also the great wish that everything would go not only better for you, but the best. We have more of such feelings for you than anybody could count.
Dear members of the Estonian Salvation Committee and the Provincial Assembly, who dedicated yourselves to the creating of the Republic of Estonia one hundred years ago! I have the duty to report to you that:
The independence of Estonia is now protected better than ever before because we have friends and allies.
The incomes of our people have never been at such a high level as they are now. At the same time, we also have people among us who have more troubles than they can bear, and they have to be helped more.
We are free to leave from here and come here, to speak and to think. Estonia is a part of the free world, because without it we would have no air to breathe.
In this open world, too, Estonia will remain for us the only place where we can think and speak in the same language at once, and feel free and respected.
The Estonian Declaration of Independence “Manifesto to All Peoples of Estonia”, which was written by you, lives on. And so it is, and so it will be, because we can do no other. Let today be a day of rejoicing for all of us who love and respect the Republic of Estonia.
Editor: Dario Cavegn