Stop the parade! (19)
Arvamus 07 May 2016  EWR
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Antud artikli on toimetanud ja avaldanud EWR inglise keele toimetaja! Toim.

I am starting to wonder if EKN has properly thought through their exhortation to Toronto Estonians to stop the upcoming parade by the local Russian community celebrating the end of the second world war.

Somehow they feel that there is an underlying sinister purpose in this, namely facilitating the re-occupation of the Baltic states by Russia. Therefore the Estonian community should write to their civic politicians to demand denial of a permit to hold the event in a public park.

It seems that the Russian community has not yet progressed to the point where they have their own large rural private property where these events can be staged, the younger generation properly indoctrinated at summer camps as to the horrible injustices that occurred during the war and a suitable monument erected to their war heroes, those that earned the title "Hero of the Soviet Union". This monument, probably with a sword (held aloft by Rodina of course) could even include names of members of the Estonian Rifle Corps that helped to free Europe from nazi occupation and the holocaust. Given the rather small turnout at last year's event (somewhat less than what has lately been the norm showing up at Estonian House for Aktus) it will be awhile before this happens, if ever, given the current prices of real estate and the low price of oil.

It seems that EKN is most upset at the sight of flags of the former Soviet Union that appeared at last year's parade. I saw only one in the parade, the other was an official Russian flag called the "Banner of Victory" that also appeared in last year's Moscow parade and has been handed down through the generations.

EKN seems to find it sinister that the flags of the former Soviet republics were displayed. Those republics all lost people either through inhuman treatment by the nazis or on the battle field and helped to crush that evil empire and as such are legitimately represented. Yes, it can be argued that some flags were only adopted after the war but so what?

What are we to make of this? It's difficult to argue that these people should not be allowed to commemorate their victory over nazi Germany in a free country. Are the politicians to demand that no soviet flags appear at the parade even though Russia is the legal successor to the Soviet Union and Canada maintains diplomatic relations? Seems to be an unrealistic expectation as there is no prohibition against this and anyway at the end of the day its fairly certain the monument in Ottawa to the victims of communism will be built, although not as originally thought and Estonia is a member of NATO.

Perhaps we should give it some second thought before we try to rain on somebody else's parade.

VALDUR A. SOOMAA
 
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