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Hamiltoni Eesti Selts ja Eesti Kool meenutasid märtsiküüditamisi

Pühapäeval, 26. märtsil enne Hamiltoni Eesti Kooli tundide algust kogunesid õpilased ja nende vanemad, õpetajad ja teised Hamiltoni Eesti Seltsi (HES) osalejad, et meenutada märtsiküüditamisi.

Koolipere märtsiküüditamise 74. aastapäeva märkimisel Cotton Factory ees. Foto: Merike Koger

HES on märkinud märtsi- ja ka juuniküüditamisi üle mitmete aastate, vahel Hamiltoni Raekoja platsil või kirikla läheduses pargis. Sel aastal toimus see kokkutulek Cotton Factory (kultuurikeskuse) ees, kus ka Hamiltoni Eesti Kool peab oma õppetunde pühapäeviti.

HES'i esinaine Leila Hess pidas liigutava kõne. Siin järgnevalt on Leila kõnest mõningaid mõtteid:

,,Seventy-four years ago, yesterday, about 3% of the already thinning Estonian population was deported to Siberia in cattle cars. There were two main deportations, one in June of 1941 and the second one on March 25th, 1949… this one was the largest whereby most were women and children, the youngest only a few months old and the oldest was 95. Over 20,000 were taken to remote locations in Siberia, Russia. As a kid I remember the stories from my grandmother saying, ,,ja neid viidi Siberisse.“ I never knew where Siberia initially was but after learning how northern and cold it was, I couldn’t imagine anyone surviving long in those conditions…. The worst part of all this, is that this is seemingly being repeated, this time in Ukraine where they are kidnapping thousands of children and deporting them into Russia…. Let’s hope this war in Ukraine comes to an end quickly before these horrendous acts continue any longer. Let us take a moment of silence to remember those lives lost during the March deportations 74 years ago and take a moment to reflect on those in Ukraine going through the same thing today….We are here together in remembrance and solidarity; telling these stories to our kids so everyone recognizes how this war in Ukraine affects all of us, and how it must be stopped….. It is so important that we keep the Estonian community going in Hamilton and beyond. Keep teaching our kids the pride we have in our Estonian roots. This is something no one can take away from us. Elagu Eesti, Slava Ukraini!“

Hamiltoni Eesti Seltsi esinaine Leila Hess. Foto: Merike Koger

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