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The Reform Party and the Social Democrats signed their coalition agreement in the Riigikogu building in Tallinn on March 20.

ERR News - ERR's US correspondent reports that a Russian diplomat quoted by Reuters as voicing concern over Estonian policies as compared to Ukraine mentioned the countries in a different context.

Andres Simonson’s Greeting At The Estonian Independence Day Celebration in Lakewood, NJ

 

Tere tulemast and welcome. My job today is to greet you and make you feel welcome at our Estonian Independence Day celebration. But as I set the joyous mood for today’s Lakewood Estonian House festivities, many will be wondering, why is our speaker speaking in English - this is Estonian Independence Day after all. Täna on Eesti Vabariigi aastapäev, miks ta räägib Ingliskeeles? Mis on viga poisiga? On ta lolliks läinud?

 

Well, besides the fact that my vocabulary is more robust in English, and that I rely on it like a crutch, the reason I am speaking in English is this: I am going to open today’s events by sharing my personal Eesti Vabariigi perspective - that of a hyphenated American, in this case an Estonian-American.  

Tens of thousands of Estonians were forced to leave their home country Estonia in WWII, especially during the Great Escape of September 1944, in order to flee from the returning Soviet forces. Many of them are living abroad today, with their children and grandchildren, who are a vital factor for keeping the Estonian expat communities and culture alive. In addition to making an effort to retain the culture today, it is also important to collect and preserve the memory and cultural heritage of the past. For the future generations, this material is an important source of knowledge about WWII and the following decades in exile.

arizona1Estonian Honorary Consul Michael Chan of Phoenix, Jim and Linda Abbott, James 'Ilo' Becker, Josiah Becker, Jess Williams and Tatum Wright, Peter and Ann Boyer, John Willis, Melissa Kula, Steve Martinez, Linda Becker, Hilja Hõplus-Martinez, Julius Becker, Janet and Erik Arro, Eda and Rees Fischer with Mari, Estonian Embassy First Secretary Oleg Dmitrijev, Susan Kuljus, Haili Grossthal, Ilmar Kuljus, Evan Grossthal, Darlene Grossthal, Uno Kula, Geoffrey Grossthal, Marina Rynning, Rumanian Honorary Consul Ileana Orlich & Anton Orlich (her son), Peter Vaga-Feldmann. There were four (Levon Aslanya, Michael Liddy,  Guido and Dottie Tihkan) who missed the group photo making for a total of 36 participants this year.

Become more involved in your Estonian American community! The Estonian American National Council will be holding its elections for members of the new XXI Council this spring, and is actively looking for candidates! Members are elected for four years and meet at least once a year to review past activities and to vote on the upcoming year’s budget and activity plan. The annual meeting will take place Sept. 27-28, 2014, in Stamford, CT.

An appeal from our Ukrainian friends in America. Please call/write/email the White House to express support for Ukraine against Moscow's aggression and the invasion of the territory of a sovereign nation.

 

Remember Georgia in 2008, Ukraine in 2014. Which country is next?

ERR News -  The US announced that the Ukrainian crisis has moved it to more than double the number of fighters on the Baltic Air Policing mission.

 

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel confirmed the plan on Wednesday, March 5, according to Reuters.

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