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Photo:  Bishop Thomas Vaga on Memorial Day at the Jarvemetsa  campgrounds.


On Memorial Day, Bishop Thomas Vaga and his family visited the monument established in memory of U.S. veterans of Estonian descent who lost their lives in battle for liberty.

According to Bishop Vaga, the monument at the camp is the first known monument in the United States to be established in honor of Estonian veterans lost in the Vietnam War.

During his private service and short lesson on the history, Bishop Vaga took time to discuss the individual veterans listed on the plaque and made sure to put the history in context.


In the videotaped address he recounted the lost heroes, introduced this special chapel at the Järvemetsa campgrounds and offered a heartfelt prayer.

The bishop went on to explain the Metsakirik is a place of worship by the scouts and guides.


Typically held midweek, the main service of the annual summer camp at this chapel and monument offers a cool rest at the end of a hot day.


Surrounded by peaceful nature, this holy place is just as much a haven in the present or a serene place to look toward the future, as it is a comfort when reflecting on the past or those who have gone before us.

The short video is viewable :

Thank you, Bishop Thomas Vaga for making the trip further off the beaten path.


Memorial Day this year was held on May 25. A somber occasion, the late spring day was no less full of sunshine, blue skies, and a clear and strong enough breeze to help the American flags placed at the monument wave in salute of these fallen heroes:

Rein Kirsimägi, 1953, Korea
Aksel Kask, 1953, Korea
Jaak Kuri, 1967, Vietnam
Arvi Rohtväli, 1968, Vietnam
Lauri Kangro, 1969, Vietnam
Toivo Nõmm, 1971, Vietnam
Mark Enari, 1966, Vietnam
Evald Kingu, 1948, Indo-China
Aado Komendant, 1966, Vietnam

Leelo Linask


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