The 8th of May saw the marking of the end of World War II in Europe, and the commemoration of all those fallen or killed in that war, in the memorial square at Maarjamäe. As a representative of the Government, Minister for Regional Affairs Siim Kiisler laid wreaths at the monuments of all those who fell in World War II, at Maarjamäe.
“Today, Estonia commemorates all those fallen or killed in World War II, irrespective of whether they were in the military or civilians, or which uniform they wore," said Minister for Regional Affairs Kiisler.
In his speech delivered at Maarjamäe, Mr Kiisler noted that World War II had been humanity’s most painful lesson, one that must not be forgotten. World War II, the biggest conflict in history, claimed the lives of approximately 55 million people, the majority of whom were civilians. Consequently, not only those having fallen in combat but also the all the civilians killed must be commemorated on 8 May,” Minister added.
To pay their respects to all those fallen or killed in World War II, chaplains of the Defence Forces also laid wreaths today at the monument of Red Army soldiers, at the Defence Forces cemetery, and at the memorial to the victims of Nazism, at the Jewish cemetery at Rahumäe.
On 7 May 1945, representatives of the Allies and the German armed forces signed at Reims, in France, the instrument of surrender of the German Reich under which hostilities ended in Europe on 8 May.
On 22 November 2004, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution concerning the observance of the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II, in which 8 and 9 May were declared days of remembrance and reconciliation. The resolution called for the observance of either or both days in an appropriate manner and for respects to be paid annually to all those who lost their lives in World War II.