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‘It’s Time to Remember’ is the Theme of the National War Veterans’ Day – Not Many Veterans Left

‘It’s Time to Remember’ is the Theme of the National War Veterans’ Day – Not Many Veterans Left
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Military Chaplain Markus Tukiainen reminded us that there are not many Finnish war veterans left and hoped that peace will prevail. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

Representatives of Helsinki laying a wreath at the podium of the statue of Marshal Mannerheim on the National War Veterans’ Day in Helsinki on April 27, 2019. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

This year over 3,107 veterans will receive the First Class Medal of The White Rose of Finland. The medal is given to those veterans who have not yet received a governmental recognition.

On Saturday noon at the Equestrian statue of Marshal Mannerheim in Helsinki center, a wreath was laid by the representatives of Helsinki at the base of the granite podium of over six meters tall, and on top of the podium, Mannerheim—sculpted by Antero Tukiainen and erected in 1960—sat tall and proud on his horse that according to historians was his favorite, Käthy.

Besides being a respected military leader and considered a key figure in preserving Finland’s independence from Russia, Mannerheim is also remembered as a president of his word between 1944-46, by separating Finland from the World War II and by deporting the Germans from Northern Finland during the Lapland War in 1944-45.

The Guards Band performed the Finnish national anthem and a hymn by Axel von Kothen, a lesser-known Finnish composer. 

Military Chaplain Markus Tukiainen reminded us that there are not many Finnish war veterans left and hoped that peace will prevail. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

Military Chaplain Markus Korpela reminded the observers, which consisted of a few dozen tourists and elderly people, police and military personnel, that there are not many war veterans left.

At the beginning of 2019, there were about 10,000 war veterans alive. Of them, 1,500 are war invalids. The average age of veterans is 94.

Local celebrations like the one at the Mannerheim statue were arranged across the country but this year, the national war veterans’ day celebration was arranged in Kuopio, Northern Savonia, and the theme was “It’s time to remember.”

The national celebration has been arranged since 1987 to honor the end of the Lapland War on April 27, 1945.

74 years ago.

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About The Author

Tony Öhberg

The founder. Reporter and photojournalist. Salesman. Fluent in three languages. Pushing a career in journalism spanning two decades. Always looking for opportunities to tell another story.

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