Continuing a tradition first introduced by President Toomas Hendrik Ilves in 2007, President Kersti Kaljulaid held a reception in the Rose Garden of the Presidential Palace in Kadriorg on Monday in honor of the Day of Restoration of Independence.
Despite the rain, the reception, which marked the 27th anniversary of Estonia restoring its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, was attended by personalities from Estonia's cultural, political and intellectual worlds.
During the reception, the president awards someone who played a significant role in the restoration of Estonia's independence with a small piece of rock broken off a boulder that was used to defend Tallinn's Toompea Hill during the events of August 1991. Like the annual Rose Garden reception itself, this tradition was begun by Kaljulaid's predecessor, President Toomas Hendrik Ilves.
This year, Kaljulaid awarded the rock to singer Ivo Linna.
"Ivo Linna stood by us during the years of restoration of independence, and he has not left us without his music during either booms or crashes," said Kaljulaid. "But it seems to me as though he still has a lot to teach us today. Because he is simply an ideal, unbeatable combination of optimism, cool and patriotism."
According to the Estonian president, Ivo Linna is as close to the people as every politician wishes they were.
"I'm happy, I'm very proud and very, very grateful that you have trusted me!" Linna said upon his acceptance of the rock. "Thank you, dear Estonia! Thank you, dear Estonian people!"
Editor: Aili Vahtla