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The President of the Republic participated in the Cross of Liberty Day in Kambja

President Arnold Rüütel today participated in the ceremony of the 27th Cross of Liberty Day that took place in Ivaste village, Kambja commune in Tartu County. In his greeting address, the Head of State compared the Estonian War of Independence with the ancient fight for freedom. “If our forefathers’ fight against the knights of the Teutonic Order had been more successful, the cooperation between the ancient Estonian counties would have led us to the formation of a definite national state at least for some period of time. It would have been preserved in the memory of people through centuries and would have shaped our identity,” the President of the Republic said.

President Rüütel also spoke about the events taking place during the restoration of Estonia’s independence that culminated fifteen years ago with the full restoration of our national state. The Head of State stressed that it would help us to better safeguard our freedom if we knew about the previous generations’ fight for our own state and showed our gratitude and respect to it.

In the ceremony that was held at the Monument to the Estonian War of Independence Veterans’ League, also Heiki Kortspärn, the owner of local Krista farm, spoke about the fate of participants in the War of Independence and stressed the importance of preserving their memory. Heiki Kortspärn handed out memorial medals to those who had helped to establish the monument and preserve the memory of the War of Independence veterans. Assistant professor Ago Pajur from Tartu University spoke about the battles of the War of Independence that were held in Kambja commune.

The President of the Republic planted an oak tree to the venue of the Cross of Liberty Day celebration, visited a show of war machines, and ate soldiers’ soup. The participants of the ceremony were entertained by Rõngu brass band and Kambja folk dance group “Vikertiimer”. Madis Linnamägi, the Chairman of Forselius Society, acted as master of ceremony.

Public Relations Department of the Office of the President
Kadriorg, August 19, 2006

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