On the 30th anniversary of the restoration of Estonia’s independence, three generations of one family hoisted the national flag on top of Tall Hermann Tower – member of the August 20th Club Tõnu Saarman along with his daughter and grandchildren.
The President of the Riigikogu Jüri Ratas recognised the contribution of those who had worked unfalteringly for the benefit of Estonia, defended our security, and laid the foundation of our sense of security after the restoration of independence.
“Thirty years ago today, we woke up in Estonia with a dream to live in our own state according to our own will. On that very day, at 11.03 p.m., it became true. 69 women and men who represented us made a decision that had a great impact on our future when they unanimously restored the independence of the Republic of Estonia. As a result of the work done during the days and nights that followed, we can wake up in our country today with confidence that we can live in Estonia according to our own will for ever,” Ratas spoke.
Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said that the events around the world remind us that nothing is ever granted and that we have a lot that we have built ourselves and that we can be thankful for, and that we need to keep safe and develop further. “Equal rights and opportunities for women and men. Everyone’s right to be critical and voice their opinion if they feel the need. Freedom of speech, freedom of action, freedom of movement. Of course we need to remember that freedom also entails responsibility, the duty to also safeguard others, their lives and freedom.”
Archbishop of the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church Urmas Viilma said words of blessing. He sees the flag as a symbol of everything that can be included under the concepts of home, family, fatherland, and freedom. “The three coloured flag that is hoisted to the top of Tall Hermann Tower every morning has been an eloquent reminder for 30 years – Estonia lives and breathes.”
President of the August 20th Club Ants Veetõusme looked back at the special morning when the flag was again hoisted to the Tall Hermann Tower. “This feeling was indescribable to the people who had had to suffer through occupations, deportations, or prison camps,” Veetõusme said. He added that the flag gave us back our dignity. “So that we would never again have to hide the blue, black and white flag of Estonia, let us all treat our country and its flag with all the respect and dignity that they so abundantly deserve.“
Speaker of the Parliament of Iceland – Althingi – Steingrímur J. Sigfússon also made a speech. He said that on 26 August 1991, Iceland was the first country to establish diplomatic relations with Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. “With firm basis in your history and culture, supported by the will and dedication of your people, you have progressed immensely since the historical events thirty years ago,” acknowledged Sigfússon.
On 20 August 1991 at 11.03 p.m., the Supreme Council of the Republic of Estonia, with 69 votes in favour, adopted the Resolution on the National Independence of Estonia.
The speeches can be read on Riigikogu home page.
Photos of the flag hoisting ceremony (Author: Erik Peinar, Chancellery of the Riigikogu)
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