TALLINN – Speaking at the unveiling of the Petserimaa War of Independence monument in the southeastern small town of Varska on Monday, President Kersti Kaljulaid said that the statue is a monument to the difficult arrival of Estonia's independence.
It is not our duty today to only remember the fallen, but also to justify our existence in our free Estonia, the president said according to spokespeople.
"This monument is a monument to all those who risked or sacrificed their lives in the name of these victorious mornings. This statue is a monument to our freedom. But the story of this statue also tells us of difficult times in Estonia's history, of being left on our own, of the loss of independence and the horrible and difficult fates of the heroes of the War of Independence under foreign occupation," Kaljulaid said.
"Those heroes, whose names were read out aloud here today, deserve it that we preserve our so hard-won independence, which we managed to restore without blood being shed. I hail all our units far away from home in Afghanistan, Iraq and Mali. What you are doing is your duty to these fallen. Just like the day-to-day work of our diplomats in international organizations to maintain our allied relationships and partnership so that the fallen did not die in vain," the head of state said.
Kaljulaid added that when erecting monuments and thinking about the past we must also keep in mind our present work.
"I would like to turn now to the Riigikogu members present here -- we need fast internet, good and well maintained roads also in this remote corner of Estonia, because also in this way we remember and keep in our minds the things sacred that we are thinking about today," the president added.