Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Estonia Celebrates Lasting Liberty Day

Today is a very special day for Estonia-- on this day, the country's present period of independence will surpass the length of the first period of independence from 1918 to 1940. It has been named Lasting Liberty Day, or Priiuse põlistumise päev in Estonian. The independent Estonian Republic was born on 24 February 1918 with the Manifesto to the Peoples of Estonia (Estonian Declaration of Independence) issued by the Salvation Committee of Estonia, but the next day Tallinn was conquered by the troops of the German Reich. This marked the beginning of the German occupation during the period of WWI. Thus the first period of independence lasted only for one short day.
long-hermannThe Republic of Estonia has now been free for longer than it was prior to the occupations.From 11 November 1918, when Emperor Wilhelm's Germany collapsed and retreated from Estonia, the Republic of Estonia could fully implement the independence declared in February. The period of this country's actual independence started on 11 November 1918. On this day, the Government of Estonia took office and ministries commenced work. An independent Estonian state had become a reality.
The period of independence that began in 1918 – the Eesti aeg in Estonian– came to an abrupt end after the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact was signed and the Soviet Union army occupied Estonia on 17 June 1940. A look at the calendar shows that Estonia had been free for 7889 consecutive days. This year, on 27 March, we will exceed this number. Today 7889 plus 1 day will have passed since 20 August 1991, meaning that the liberty period of the Estonian Republic will have lasted longer than ever before. For Estonia's self-perception, this could be also seen as a turning point: after 27 March 2013, the lengthier period of Estonia's freedom will have elapsed in the re-independent Estonia and not in the pre-war republic. This is an important milepost.
Lasting Liberty Day is a day we can express our gratitude to all those who have sacrificed so that we could live in this free and independent country. Central and local government institutions will hoist flags. All people in Estonia are invited to use the colours of the national flag on this day – either by hosting a national flag, wearing blue-black-white clothes, or wearing a badge on their chest.
People are also being encouraged to complete 7890 metres of any sports activity they like, for example walking, running or skiing. The energy created in the course of the exercise will be dedicated to Estonia. Further information:!/vabakaik?fref=ts