With this second term in office due to expire in 2016, Toomas Hendrik Ilves on February 24 made his last Independence Day address being the President of Estonia.
BNN offers you two inspiring excerpts from Ilves’s speech with its full translation into English available here.
«During the last few years, we have all probably sensed new concerns, new fears and increased tensions in Estonia. These are all underscored by our main questions:
What will become of us?
What will become of Estonia?
What will become of Europe?
Estonia’s concern is amplified by the fear that everything that has been restored and created anew during the last quarter century may disappear again. We are always worried about our survival. This distinguishes us from other states and peoples.
But, dear listeners, in the same way, we are distinguished by the conviction that Estonia is not like the others. We can cope; we are faster, smarter, more flexible; we find and invent solutions. And this is what we have done for a quarter century.»
«We are not small. We can manage being great. We can cope. We will survive. The main thing is not to be afraid, not to doubt oneself, and not to cling to the past.
Only we can make the choice between courage and fear, greatness and smallness, the future and the past ».
Estonian Independence Day events in pictures.