Good people of Estonia!
On 23 February 1918, the Estonian Declaration of Independence “Manifesto to the Peoples of Estonia” was read out on the balcony of the Endla Theatre in Pärnu. This invaluable document states that in the course of centuries the Estonian people have never lost their desire for independence.
This year we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the restoration of the independence of Estonia. Kalev is at home, and in the early morning we proudly hoisted our beautiful blue, black and white flag in the sky of Estonia.
Twenty years ago we were ready to rebuild our country, no matter how hard it seemed. During those twenty years a whole generation of young people has grown up, for whom the soviet times are just history, not something they have personally experienced. Each generation acts in the present but also bears responsibility for the future. It is the right and obligation of young people to act in the name of Estonia’s future.
Estonia needs each one of us, like we need our country. Do we feel responsible to Estonia? It is so easy to blame the state of everything that has gone wrong or is bad in our life, but maybe some solutions are completely elsewhere. Sometimes we can hear the question: “Is this the Estonia we wanted?” Our dreams may be different, but the first condition for their coming true is freedom, which we missed in the past.
Sandor Petőfi, the national poet of our kindred nation, has written very beautiful words:
Free people are able to achieve many things. We have been. It is important to believe in our country and in our future. Loyalty to Estonia and to our constitutional institutions should be self-evident for everyone. We must not let ourselves to be indifferent.
Each one of us has to think about the future of Estonia, and how our people could get by better themselves and also be able to help others. I would like to thank all who have stretched out a helping hand to those who need it. I thank all who stretched out a helping hand to mitigate the results of the tragedy in Haapsalu. It is hard to understand this sad event; it is hard even to speak about it.
In the present economic situation many people are unemployed or work for a low salary. The most important problem here is how to change this situation. It is the time to ask what we have left undone, what we should do to be more competitive on the labour market.
In the second half of the 20th century it was still possible to earn your bread without having any professional education. Now this possibility has become marginal. Jobs have become more complicated and specialist training is required. It should be taken as a fact and there is no sense in fighting against it. If we do not admit it, people will either remain without work or have to accept low-qualified jobs and small incomes.
Progressive income tax does not help here, it is not a medicine against low level of education. Educated people have better income and fill the state treasury with their taxes.
On 6 March there will be parliamentary elections, and already today, in some hours, it will be possible to vote by electronic means. A choice has to be made between two world views, one of which represents those who re-distribute, and the other those who contribute to education and promoting of economy.
Today, on the Anniversary of the Republic, we are happy because we have our own state. There are very few nations who are so small as we are, but still have their own state and determine their fate themselves and make decisions about their future. It is the jackpot that Estonia has won at the lottery of history.
We must not let ourselves to be careless about our state. Our forefathers fell for our country. Our task is to defend and guarantee the continuance of Estonia.
As long as we are alive and well, as long as we have our own state and we can decide our fate ourselves, we are a free and happy nation. Let us take care of our people and our homes because they give us the strength to endure and grow as a nation.
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