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75th Nat´l Veterans’ Day to be celebrated in unusual manner

Published : 27 Apr 2020, 02:42

Updated : 27 Apr 2020, 10:17

  DF Report

Photo SA-KUVA.

National Veterans’ Day will be celebrated across the country on Monday, April 27 to commemorate and celebrate the contributions of veterans of the Lapland War and World War II.

This year, because of the coronavirus outbreak, the occasion will be marked in an unconventional manner. Festivities and honours will mainly take place online, said a government press release.

The date marks the anniversary of the end of the Lapland War in 1945 and on Monday, exactly 75 years will have passed since the war ended.

In observance of the day, President Sauli Niinistö’s message to the war veterans will be published on the website and social media channels of the Office of the President in the morning.

Chief of Defence Timo Kivinen will lay a wreath at Heroes’ Cemetery at Hietaniemi.

The Defence Forces will publish photos of the wreath-laying ceremony on its own channels during the morning.

Finlandia Hymn, sung by Finland’s largest virtual choir of over 1,000 people will be published on the Government YouTube channel in the morning.

The Defence Forces, the Ministry of Defence and the Government will update content relating to the day’s events on their social media channels, including the greetings of Chief of Defence Timo Kivinen and Minister of Justice Antti Kaikkonen.

The day, April 27, was chosen to honor the last day of the war in Finland, which was in 1945.

Finnish involvement in World War II is divided into three different parts — the Winter War (1939–40) and the Continuation War (1941–44) both against the Soviet Union, and the Lapland War (1944-45), against Germany.

According to statistics, around 600,000 men and 100,000 women fought in these wars. One out of eight died in battle and one out of four survivors were left with disabilities.

There were fears about the contribution of these veterans being forgotten in the decades immediately following the war. Veterans Day thus represents the efforts made by the Finnish people and their government to remember and appreciate the sacrifices made by veterans during this difficult period in history.