Reserve officers hope for monument

  • 2005-11-02
  • By Kairi Kurm
TALLINN - The Estonian Reserve Officers' Association has asked the Tallinn City government for permission to erect a monument in front of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs commemorating those who fought against the Soviet occupation for 50 years.
"We wish to erect it in a dignified place in Tallinn, somewhere in the center, in a neighborhood of dignified buildings," said Heino Piirsalu, chairman of the association.
The location in front of the ministry would best remind foreign guests of Estonia's past, he added.

Fourteen years ago, on the same spot, there was a statue of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin.

"People are very excited about what kind of a uniform the monument will bear. The question is not about the uniform or the weapon 's it is about the idea - the idea of recording 50 years of resistance," said Piirsalu.

The non-profit organization is planning to start public dialog for the concept and finance the project from both donations and state aid.

But before it can begin, permission is required from the city government, which owns the plot, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which is located in the neighborhood.

Association members have already talked to Foreign Minister Urmas Paet.

Andres Tomasberg, chief of Cabinet at the ministry, told The Baltic Times that it was too early to talk about the proposal. The ministry has not discussed it with the city government, he said.

So far the city of Tallinn has been quite cooperative, said Piirsalu, although the press has accused the city of ignoring the matter for fear of irritating Russia.

The Russian press, he said, has taken the news peacefully.

According to city officials, the project has to be postponed until the area's development plan, which shows the location of roads, has been finalized.

The Estonian Reserve Officers' Association was established in 1993 to show the defensive capability of Estonian citizens. The membership includes businessmen, public officials and other active members of society, said Piirsalu.

"History is the same for everyone. It does not have to be old people who want the monuments," he said.