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On Tuesday, the National Defence Committee decided to initiate a Bill for declaring April 23 – when the Veterans’ Day is celebrated in Estonia – a flag day.

“Our objective in declaring April 23 a flag day is to start a new tradition of acknowledging veterans in our society,” the Chairman of the National Defence Committee Mati Raidma said.

Raidma will present the Bill to the Board of the Riigikogu at the beginning of the plenary sitting on Wednesday. The Board of the Riigikogu will decide whether to accept the Bill for legislative proceeding and which committee to appoint as its leading committee.

The explanatory memorandum says that the Veterans’ Day is celebrated for the second time this year and that a human centred rather than a uniform centred approach is aimed for. The important thing is to acknowledge individuals and their nearest and dearest. Raidma invites us to think of the bigger picture on that day: after all, in addition to mission contingent, the Estonian flag has been held high in various global crisis centres by our police officers, rescue workers, bomb disposal technicians and other specialists. The flag day would honour them all.

“What these people, who are expected to be prepared to sacrifice everything in order to carry out Estonia’s security policy, need more than anything at any given moment is a confirmation from the society that their contribution is vital, welcome, acknowledged and highly valued,” says the explanatory memorandum of the Bill initiated by the National Defence Committee.

Pictures of the meeting.