To mark the 103rd anniversary of the Republic of Estonia, Rector Toomas Asser and Academic Secretary Tõnis Karki placed flowers at the Estonian War of Independence Memorial to Fallen Students in the university’s assembly hall.
The rector reminded that 103 years ago, Estonians were unable to immediately start building the newly independent country, but had to fight for it first, to uphold the idea of statehood.
„University of Tartu students were among the many who took responsibility for maintaining the independence of the young Republic of Estonia and went to the front line in the name of their country. Yet even now as we seem to be able to take Estonia’s independence for granted, the safekeeping of the country should not be just an abstract duty of the state. Over the last year, we saw why a country and society needs educated people. It depends on each individual’s open mind to what extent they perceive their responsibility for the well-being of the state,” the rector said.
„In situations where the functioning of the state and its security depend on more than just an open mind or common sense, each country must have its solid backup forces, where to ask for the best possible advice and expertise, where to find people to explain and interpret complex topics. I am very grateful to all the University of Tartu people who, especially over the last year, have been pillars of the Estonian state and nations. We keep Estonia safe also in difficult times,” said the rector.
To mark the Independence Day of Estonia, the expatriate Estonian visiting professor of the University of Tartu, David Ilmar Lepasaar Beecher reflects on the intelligentsia and its role in the Republic of Estonia and in the world.
As a musical greeting, you will hear Evald Aav’s “Me oleme Põhjamaa lapsed” (“(We Are) Children of the North”) to Anna Haava’s text performed by the Academic Women’s Choir of the University of Tartu and Tartu Academic Male Choir. Conductor Triin Koch. The recording is from the ceremony marking the 100th anniversary of Estonia’s national university on 1 December 2019.
The most important moments of the Independence Day will be shared on the university’s website.