We Believe in Estonia

We Believe in Estonia
@TheStevenAlber “TransNarrative Artistry”

The 106th anniversary of the Republic of Estonia arrives with mixed feelings and concern for the country and its people. At a time when the breath of war affects all our lives and we should stick together, a self-admiring Prime Minister has escalated a dispute with the critically minded President, and attention-seeking individuals, mistakenly considering themselves artists, have littered the streets of the nation's capital with ghastly photos of bombed-out homes. The voice of war hawks grows louder, predicting horrors reaching our homeland and demanding that Estonia must fight to the last boy of knee-height. Fewer and fewer little citizens of the world are being born, yet if you worry about this, you fall under the criticism of the Social Minister, who sees no problem in the dwindling of the people. We close schools, shut down village shops, and turn whole regions into ghostly wastelands of empty houses, a price we must pay for the incompetence of a failing government. It is difficult to find in this painful confusion something lasting and truly important that would bring joy to the heart and sparkle to the eye?

Concern for the nation's survival.

The anniversary of the Republic of Estonia reminds us how fragile freedom is and what a rare gift statehood is. 106 years ago, the right to self-determination, won through the battles of the War of Independence, did not last long. Already in 1939, foreign soldiers crossed Estonia's border. The last of them did not leave until 1994. Today, numerous critics condemn President Konstantin Päts, whose 150th birthday is on February 23, for opening Estonia's borders to foreign troops. Certainly, it was not an easy decision, but President Päts saved the people from tremendous losses that could have permanently erased the Estonian state from the map. The state remained, the people did not disappear, and on a new wave of liberation, a bloodless victory was achieved. Isn't that a perseverance and faith in the future to be envied? Isn't that wisdom worth remembering even in today's fear-filled days? Konstantin Päts suffered with his people the horrors of prison camps and national suppression. He stayed with Estonia to the end, which cannot be believed of our current statesmen, who are powerful in words but show retreat from the principles with which Estonia was born 106 years ago and those with which, in the excitement of re-independence, the foundation for a new era of freedom was laid.

Long live a peaceful future!

Despite the harsh times, I would like to end on a brighter note. If all of us, whose home is on this limestone ground by the Baltic Sea, believe in Estonia and its future, no clouds of war rising on the horizon or the incompetence of a government stuck in a political deadlock can scare us. We can maintain peace and build a future for our country, rich in beautiful nature and balanced people. By loving our home and our loved ones, we believe in a better and brighter time, where instead of high-flown rhetoric and self-praise, the Prime Minister's holiday speech echoes a promise to think first and foremost of the well-being of our people.

For those who believe in Estonia, the words of the Independence Manifesto are especially heartwarming and supportive, yet sharply topical today: "Estonia! You stand on the threshold of a hopeful future, where you can freely and independently determine and lead your fate! Begin to build your home, where order and justice prevail, to be a worthy member of the family of cultured nations! All sons and daughters of the homeland, let us unite in the sacred task of building our homeland! The sweat and blood of our ancestors, shed for this land, demand it, our future generations oblige us to it.

May God watch over you

And bless you abundantly,

In whatever you undertake,

My dear fatherland!

Long live the independent democratic Republic of Estonia!

Long live the peace of nations!"

Vsevolod Jürgenson