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Those who fell during the War of Independence were remembered in Tallinn

3. January 2018 - 16:00
Those who fell during the War of Independence were remembered in Tallinn
Those who fell during the War of Independence were remembered in Tallinn

Today, in Freedom Square, all those who gave their lives for Estonia’s independence were remembered at the base of the Monument to the War of Independence. The start of the armistice, which entered into force 98 years ago, was also commemorated.

In his speech, Minister of Defence Jüri Luik called on people to look back today at the past, and to remember the struggles of our forefathers and compatriots and the victims on the road to freedom for the Republic of Estonia.

“The War of Independence holds a special place in Estonia’s history. It is the only war in the history of the Estonian people where we fought under own flag, for our own country, and won. Throwing off the shackles of a foreign power and creating one’s own country is the most important event in the history of every nation,” said Luik.

A minute of silence was observed at 10.30, to commemorate the peace treaty between the Republic of Estonia and Soviet Russia, signed on 3 January 1920 at precisely 10.30, which marked the end of the occupation and the hostilities that had followed the birth of the country.

Ekke-Markus Muttika, a student at the Tallinn Secondary School of Science, and Priit Jõks, a representative from the League of Estonian Corporations, also spoke at the ceremony, and Arch Bishop Urmas Viilma, from the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church, read the prayer.

Wreaths were laid at the base of the Monument to the War of Independence.

In accordance with the armistice agreement, concluded on 3 January 1920, all hostilities were to cease by 10 January – after which both sides could resume hostilities, providing an advance notice of 24 hours. Thankfully, hostilities never resumed, and the peace treaty was signed on 2 February 1920, in Tartu, with the War of Independence having ended in victory for Estonia.

Estonia lost nearly 6000 people in the war, of which nearly 4000 were lost in direct combat.

Additional information: press[at]kaitseministeerium[dot]ee