The Prsident of Estonia H.E. Mrs. Kersti Kauljulaid during the review of the troops
Ambassador Paez (3rd from right) during the military parade at Vabaduse Square
The War of Independence Monument where the wreath-laying ceremony was held
The giant national flag of Estonia serves as a backdrop during the military parade which also showcased Estonia’s military hardware
Upon the invitation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia, Philippine Ambassador Patricia Ann V. Paez attended the events to commemorate the 99th anniversary of Estonia’s independence which were held from 23 to 24 February 2017.
On 23 February, she attended the reception hosted by Estonia’s Foreign Minister H.E. Mr. Sven Mikser at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs where she met with the other ambassadors from ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations). Ambassador Paez also met with Minister Markus Kolgas who discussed Estonia’s bid for a non-permanent seat in the UN Security Council and with the Philippine Honorary Consul to Estonia Mr. Meelis Vierkabau.
The following morning, a flag-raising ceremony was held in the Governor’s Garden of the Toompea Castle followed by the wreath-laying ceremony at the War of Independence Monument at Vabaduse Square led by the President of Estonia H.E. Mrs. Kersti Kauljulaid. The Ambassador of Denmark, who is the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, represented the Corps in the wreath-laying with the rest of the Corps in attendance.
In her remarks, President Kauljulaid said: “We always remember the ofunders of the Republic of Estonia. Neither can we forget about those brave Estonian servicemen who have fallen for a safer country and a safer world...That reminds us that freedom and democracy cannot be taken for granted..”
After the wreath-laying ceremony, an ecunemical worship service was held in the Dome Church (Csthedral of Saint Mary the Virgin in Tallinn) followed by a noontime military parade at the Vabaduse Square.
The day’s events were capped by an evening concert at the National Opera. Addressing the audience before the special concert began, President Kauljulaid stressed that “the world requires countries like Estonia to be especially vigilant” and that it “requires the resolute observation of the values that form the basis of society, and especially international law.”
Noting that “in only 127 days and a little more than seven hours, Estonia will assume the Presidency of the Council of the European Union,” she recalled Otton von Bismarck’s declaration: “No loss in domestic policy is forever. But in foreign policy, there are times and opportunities that will never return.”
President Kauljulaid added: “For a small country, there is no better formula for survival. No matter what we must do, we must always consider, or even more, prioritize, our foreign policy interests, our international position. During the last quarter century, our foreign and security policy has been successful. Our politicians have accepted international responsibilities and fulfilled them, sometimes at the cost of domestic popularity. Today, we see how important this has been. We are being assured that, in turbulent times, we will not be abandoned.”
After the concert, President Kauljalaid had a “meet and greet” with the members of the diplomatic corps and other special guests; and this was followed by a cocktail reception.
An ecunemical worship service was held at the Dome Church (Cathedral of St. Mary the Virgin in Tallinn)
At the Dome Church before the Mass began
Amb. Paez with members of the diplomatic community from Japan and Slovenia
With Honorary Consul Mr. Meelis Virkebau
Despite the winter chill, Estonians flocked to the Vabaduse Square for the military parade
Patriotic boys waving their Estonian flaglets in cadence with the music from the military band
Estonians braving the cold to participate in the events marking the 99th anniversary of Estonia’s independence