The battles of World War II in Europe ceased sixty-two years ago. Although guns were silenced, it seemed that some countries would never again be reconciled. The two world wars that left Europe exhausted and insecure, together with the former hostility, seemed to be too much for generous forgiveness and restoration of confident relations.
Yet countries reconciled and forgave, which is why Europe Day on 9 May is also the day of reconciliation. The European Union, a member of which Estonia is, was born to avoid any further violence between European countries and Europeans and to establish a solid foundation for the welfare, stability and peaceful future of all countries and their citizens.
Today in Estonia we have a reason to repeat: all of us who live in this country continue to be Europeans. Dignified. Free. Caring for and respecting each other and our country.
The anniversary of the end of World War II makes all of us think about a victory over a certain totalitarian regime. The pain and horrors of war did not care about nationality. Everyone who was thrown into the turmoil of war suffered. We mourn all the people that we lost in war.
For many, the end of World War II means the victory of freedom over tyranny, and for many it means that one violent regime was replaced with another.
History is not learned and taught in the streets. Estonia knows how valuable a free and democratic society is; here everyone can celebrate their victories and commemorate their lost ones. However, a precondition for that is dignity towards oneself and others.
We believe in the wisdom and rationality of Estonian citizens and their desire to protect their country.
We have a common future. Our people in Estonia. Estonia in Europe.
President of the Republic Toomas Hendrik Ilves
Speaker of the Riigikogu Ene Ergma
Prime Minister Andrus Ansip
8 May 2007
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