Memorial Day of the Fallen in Estonian Liberation War Date in the current year: January 3, 2024

Memorial Day of the Fallen in Estonian Liberation War January 3 is Memorial Day of the Fallen in the Estonian Liberation War. This is not a holiday but it commemorates the memory of 5,000 Estonian soldiers who died for their country.

The Estonian Liberation War, or the Estonian War of Independence, started in November 1918 as a defensive campaign against the Soviet Western Front and the aggression of the Baltic Landwehr. The fights were connected with the Russian Civil War in the aftermath of World War I. Soviet westward offensive attacked Estonia to set the Soviet rule there so the Estonian provisional government had to call for voluntary mobilization and began to form Estonian Army.

November 28, 1918 is considered to be the first day of the Estonian Liberation War, when the 6th Red Rifle Division attacked units of the Estonian Defense League that defended the borders of the city of Narva. The league consisted mostly of secondary school students so the city was captured the next day. Only mass mobilization and allies helped Estonians to drive away the units of the Red Army from the territory of their country.

A new Estonian government started negotiations with Soviet Russia on December 5 to dispute over territorial issues. These talks continues through December and both sides were pressing their demands while the fights in Narva continued. On December 31, 1919 the peace treaty was finally concluded and signed on January 2, 1920. This treaty is knows as Tartu Peace Treaty and according to it Soviet Russia recognized the independence of the Republic of Estonia. The ceasefire came into effect on January 3, 1920.

Every year on January 3 all the public organizations hang the state flag, people bring flowers to the monument at Freedom Square and commemorate the dead soldiers with the moment of silence.

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