On the 6th of December each year, we Finns have the privilege of celebrating our country’s independence. This also gives us the opportunity to pause and consider what independence and Finland mean to us. The 6th of December is also dedicated to those who defended and cherished our independence. The priceless results of their work can be seen in the everyday lives of each and every one of us.
Finnish independence has gone through a number of phases. The most difficult of these occurred already some time ago. Independence has perhaps already begun to feel like something we can take for granted. However, the events in Ukraine this year have provided us with a disturbing reminder that, even today, we must work hard to preserve peace and freedom. Together with other countries, Finland must contribute to calming the situation. Trust must be built if peace is to become possible.
We Finns have settled in all parts of the world. The windows and front doors of expatriate Finns open out onto thousands of different scenes and realities. And not every place is as tranquil as our homeland. Today, we still need men and women who defend and cherish the uniqueness of our country and people. This is something that we can all do together. Each one of use can do their part to ensure that we are a force for good in our surroundings.
I wish you all a wonderful 97th Finnish Independence Day and a peaceful Christmas season.
President of the Republic