Today, during his Veterans Day memorial service speech in Tori Church, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defence Kristjan Prikk called on people, in their thoughts as well as their deeds, to support the men and women who have had to stand with a weapon in hand in defence of the freedom of our country and people.
‘For the seventh time, this day also has a more familiar and pronounced measure in society – Veterans Day has become a respectful and unifying tradition,’ said Prikk.
He noted that today’s message must resound across all of Estonia. ‘It is a message that our soldiers, our veterans – whether they are old or young, whether they are soldiers, non-commissioned officers or officers – are worthy of the honour and appreciation of our people,’ stated Prikk.
According to the Permanent Under Secretary, Veterans Day is an excellent opportunity to recognise those who have heard the calling, and by braving dangers have made a great contribution to Estonia's security and also, through this, the general progress of our lives.
He added that a big part of Estonia’s history is the story of wars, and our soldiers have fought under the blue-black-white and foreign colours, while wearing foreign uniforms – but what is clear is that they have carried their home and fatherland in their hearts and souls.
Next year will mark the 25th anniversary of Estonian servicemen first serving in foreign operations. Today, the number having participated in foreign missions is over 3000.
Prikk emphasised that we don’t need to keep those people who have sacrificed their lives and health for our freedom in the shadows, nor those who stand today in defence of our country and the values and interests of our people outside of our country’s borders. ‘The deeds of those men and women, performed in service of our country, deserve our recognition and most sincere thanks,’ added the Permanent Secretary.
Permanent Secretary Kristjan Prikk also participated in the ceremony held today at the Paldiski campus, in memory of those soldiers who have fallen and died in foreign operations, and laid a wreath at the memorial to Estonian soldiers who have fallen in Afghanistan.
Further information: press[at]kaitseministeerium[dot]ee