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The President of the Republic participated in Victory Day celebration in Paide

The President of the Republic and Mrs Ingrid Rüütel celebrated this year's Victory Day in Paide.

In the morning at 10 am, a divine service was held in Paide Holy Cross Church. Beside the Head of State, the former President Lennart Meri, Chairman of the Riigikogu Ene Ergma, Prime Minister Andrus Ansip, members of the Government and the Riigikogu, but also diplomats accredited to Estonia, and representatives of Järva County and the city of Paide attended the service.

At 11.30 am, President Rüütel received a parade of the Defence League at Paide Central Square that was commanded by the Chief of the Defence League, Major Benno Leesik. The Head of State greeted servicemen, members of the Defence League, members of Women's Home Defence, Home Daughters, Young Eagles, border guards, policemen, and all the other participants of the parade. Also representatives from Latvian Zemessarde and orchestras from Estonia, Denmark, United Kingdom, Finland and Switzerland participated in the parade with a total of 600 participants.

In his speech, President Rüütel stressed the importance of friends and allies in achieving one's goals, both, back in the history, and also today. "The support of partners is a value of importance, as the world is becoming ever so "smaller", but at the same time also more polarized. Nevertheless, the will and consensus of each nation to protect one's interests and independence determines the cause of events," the Head of State said.

President Rüütel also stressed the importance of establishing test and training sites as a part of Estonian defence related homework. "The foundation of reliable national defence is the capability and the will of people, local authorities and the whole state to defend the country. Among the other things, this involves creating conditions for training and polishing the skills," the Head of State said.

President Rüütel also spoke about the Constitutional Treaty of the European Union. "Perhaps, instead of rushing into legal procedures we should take a break and turn attention to the pain spots that worry people, and make more efforts to explain the matter. This will make the European Union more open and we might reach solutions that guarantee wellbeing of nations and trust towards the Union and each other. This will also increase confidence that the identity and national culture of all nations will be maintained," the Head of State said.

Ending the Victory Day's speech, the President of the Republic urged to offer the peace fire, which gives warmth and unites people, to one's friends, and lit Victory and Mid-Summer Eve's torches, which the officers took to all counties over Estonia.

After the parade, the Estonian Border Guard Orchestra and young gymnasts gave a performance that was followed by "EST-TATTOO" of military orchestras. Also Finnish Defence Forces Orchestra, the British Royal Air Force Pipes and Drums, the Swiss Army Representation Band, the Danish Home Guard Orchestra, and several other groups performed.

After that, the Head of the State and Mrs Ingrid Rüütel visited the Museum of Järvamaa and acquainted themselves with the exposition of the museum.

The Victory Day celebration in Paide ended with a reception at Lembitu Park, hosted by Järva County Governor Üllar Vahtramäe and Mayor of Paide, Heli Suvi.

Public Relations Unit of the Office of the President
Kadriorg, June 23, 2005

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