The Estonian Evengelical Lutheran Church
« Back to news

Speech – Independence Day sunrise flag-raising ceremony

Dear friends!

For 35 years we have been able to come together on Toompea to watch the solemn raising of our national flag on top of Tall Hermann Tower, accompanied by the sounds of the Estonian anthem. This fills our hearts with joy and our souls with a sense of gratitude to our forebears for the right decisions they made and for God’s blessing.

For the third Independence Day in a row, Russia’s aggression and war in Ukraine affects how we celebrate the birthday of our country and how our hearts flutter when we raise this national and official flag we all love during this yearly celebration.

Those of us who are 40 years old or older remember the times when we raised our eyes towards Tall Hermann, the sight of the dominantly red banner on top of it cut deep into our souls and made our hands curl into fists in the depths of our pockets. It is somewhat bizarre to think that just a bit over half a century ago, in 1972, it seemed easier to send our national flag to the Moon onboard Apollo 16 than it was to get it to fly from the top of Tall Hermann Tower.

There was more freedom on the Moon than the Estonian nation had under the yoke of a foreign authority, or other countries had under the occupation or influence of the Soviet Union. These times must not return! This is why we must overcome our differences, find reconciliation, and cooperate, so that we may have many allies and friends.

We particularly need such efforts from the representatives of the people who work in this building which is flanked by the corner tower where we just raised the most beautiful symbol of our freedom, independence, and unity – our flag of blue, black, and white.

May Almighty God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, bless this flag, and our free country, and its leaders, and our people. Amen.

Urmas Viilma

24.02.2024 Toompea