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Anniversary of the War of Independence ceasefire celebrated in Tallinn
The 97th anniversary of the War of Independence ceasefire was celebrated today, in Tallinn, at the base of the War of Independence Memorial, in Freedom Square, where those who gave their lives for Estonia’s independence were remembered.
Speaking at the ceremony, Minister of Defence Margus Tsahkna stated that Estonia’s freedom and its victory in the War of Independence did not come easily, with thousands of Estonians and many allies sacrificing their lives for the cause.
“We must remember that we are only capable of protecting our freedom together with our friends and allies,” said Minister of Defence Tsahkna. “Independence and freedom are not as self-evident as we would like them to be. Therefore, it is also important today that the people of Estonia possess the will to defend themselves, the actual capability to defend themselves, and that this is done in cooperation with our allies.”
At the ceremony, Mikael Raihhelgauz, a student from the Tallinn Secondary School of Science, and academic corporation Ugala alumnus Mati Jänes, from the League of Estonian Corporations, were given the opportunity to speak.
Wreaths from the Estonian people, the Defence Forces, the Defence League and the diplomatic corps were laid at the base of the Monument to the War of Independence.
The commander of the Defence League’s Tallinn District, Lieutenant Colonel Toomas Väli, laid a wreath at the base of Reaali Poiss, the monument to the student soldiers of the War of Independence. Units from the Defence Forces and the Defence League districts laid wreaths at monuments to the War of Independence across Estonia.
At 10.30 on 3 January 1920, weapons fell silent across the battlefields of the War of Independence, when, after 402 days of combat, hostilities between the Republic of Estonia and Soviet Russia came to an end. Estonia lost more than 6000 people during the war, with 4000 falling in direct combat.
According to Minister of Defence Jüri Luik, who met today with Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, one of the important topics during Estonia’s upcoming Presidency of the European Council will be tangible solutions in the area of European Union defence cooperation.