24 February 2017 Speech by the President of the Riigikogu Mr Eiki Nestor at the ceremony of hoisting the Estonia national flag Happy anniversary to all!

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Good morning and a nice anniversary day to all of you who have come to Toompea, and also to those who follow us on TV. The flag on the Tall Hermann Tower fills our souls with pride over our country. Our free country! Such a warm feeling, as always on birthdays.

Our dear Republic of Estonia has become a year older, and the great anniversary is not far away. Maybe you, too, have thought about the fact that especially those countries that are to the west of us became one hundred years old centuries ago. When communicating with those nations, we have said honestly that Estonia is still a young country. Not even a hundred years old yet. And so, dear people of Estonia, we maybe have only one more year where we as a state can be such cheeky youngsters. In a year, we will be of respectable age, when we can and also must be even more dignified and more grown up than we are today.

But maybe the hard and complicated childhood we had as a nation lays one more obligation on us? To remind our allies that no matter if your country is one hundred years or many centuries old, in today’s world we can be strong only if we stick together as one family.

I am sure that we will never lose our youthful and inquisitive spirit. Openness and the readiness to create and grow this country again and again. To go on and not to close ourselves off. To live not only for ourselves and our families, but also to wish the best to our friends and neighbours, colleagues and to all who consider this country their own or respect it. Estonia of us all is the country where we can be free and happy.

I hope that the younger generation will not mind, but my next words are especially meant for those of us who happened to live also at the time when free Estonia could only be dreamed of. I was deeply moved by an Independence Day greeting where the third grade pupils of a basic school on one of the most beautiful islands of Estonia were telling what they liked in this country and what could be better. We, grown-ups, know how to be reserved and polite. But children are sincere and open in their answers. Sometimes also funny, as you all know. Actually I would like to clap my hands to each answer. In this greeting, a girl gives the following answer to the question “What do you like in Estonia?” – “Estonia is a beautiful country, and there may never be war here again. I am not afraid of it.” I think these words contain the greatest gratitude the new generation can express to us, the older generation.

It has been worthwhile for us to live so that the children born and growing up in free Estonia are not afraid.

And this flag on top of this tower here will fly for ever.

Happy anniversary to all!

Long live the Republic of Estonia!

Eiki Nestor
President of the Riigikogu ESTONIA

Krishan Chand

 

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