SAAREMAA ISLAND, Estonia – Thousands of individuals crowded the streets of Kuressaare, watching with pleasure as troopers marched by their hometown for the Victory Day parade right here, June 23, 2022.
Victory Day is an Estonian nationwide vacation commemorating their victory over Baltic-German forces on the Battle of Vonnu in 1919, marking a turning level within the Estonian War of Independence. Since the autumn of the Soviet Union, the day additionally celebrates all Estonian forces who battle to retain the nation’s independence.
Onlookers waved Estonian flags whereas troopers from a number of allied nations handed.
“It is an incredible alternative, and we’re grateful to have the ability to be right here right this moment to have a good time Victory Day with the Estonians and our NATO allies,” mentioned Capt. Mack Azbell, commander of Ares Company, 1st Battalion, 66th Armor Regiment (1-66 AR), third Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division. “Us being right here with our brothers and sisters in arms from different nations symbolizes our dedication and dedication to NATO, our companions, and growing our interoperability and lethality throughout all domains. It was a pleasure to be right here, and I thank the Estonians for the beneficiant hospitality.”
Soldiers from the 1-66 AR took half within the Victory Day parade alongside members of the Estonian Defense League (EDL) and different NATO allies. Troops from Denmark, Finland, France, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, the U.Okay., and the U.S. additionally took half within the parade on Kuressaare’s essential sq.. Additionally, there have been members of the Police and Border Guard Board, Rescue Board, and the Women’s Voluntary Defense Organization (Naiskodukaitse).
The location of the parade alternates annually between the 15 Estonian counties. This yr was Saaremaa Island’s flip, the place organizations for each younger and previous, together with Boy and Girl Scouts, marched within the parade subsequent to the Estonian Defense Force and the EDL troopers, members of the police, and multinational companions from allied nations.
The parade handed by the town sq., the place they met with Alar Karis, the president of Estonia. After passing the parade stand, the president and the EDL commander, Brig. Gen. Riho Ühtegi met with every formation to thank them for his or her service to the nation. To finish the parade, representatives from every province met the president to gentle a torch, symbolizing the persevering with dedication to the nation, as jets from the Estonian Air Force flew overhead.
“This implies that we’re not alone, which is an important factor; we all know that no matter occurs, you’ve got our again,” mentioned Piia Tamsalu, the general public relations chief and a soldier for the Evacuation Group of the Women’s Voluntary Defense Organization. “Strong allies not solely come when there’s a battle or a battle, additionally they present as much as have a good time with us.”