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The President of the Republic handed over state decorations

The President of the Republic at the award ceremony "Estonia is Grateful" that took place at noon today at the Kadriorg Art Museum presented with state decorations outstanding politicians, state and local government officials, educationalists, cultural figures, and businessmen.

Secretary of State for European Affairs of Ireland Dick Roche for having supported Estonia's accession to the European Union on the occasion of the 86th Anniversary was awarded the 1st Class Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana. Commander of the Swedish Defence Forces Johan Ivari Hederstedt was awarded the 1st Class Order of the Cross of the Eagle. Public figure Ülo Nugis received from the President the 2nd Class Order of the National Coat of Arms.

The President of the Republic at the ceremony said in his speech: "The vitality of our society derives from individuals. It is our state's vital interest that as many as possible of our people found happiness in their private lives, and that daily work meant to them self-fulfilment. The state must not lose sight of the goal that each person should have in his home neighbourhood a job suiting his skills and abilities."

President Rüütel thanked all order recipients for their commitment, for having found their callings and followed them with persistence and bravery. "Thanks to you and your work, Estonia as a whole has become better," said the President of the Republic.

On behalf of the honorees spoke paediatric neurologist and medical scientist Tiina Talvik, whose work had been recognized with the 1st Class Order of the Estonian Red Cross.

The Head of State today presented with state decorations a total of nearly 180 persons. At the President's request, in counties the decorations awarded on the occasion of the Day of Independence will be handed over by county governors and in foreign countries by ambassadors.

Public Relations Unit of the Office of the President
Kadriorg, February 23, 2004

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