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It was with mixed emotions that an Estonian arrived at Toronto’s Nathan Phillips Square, in front of City Hall, to participate in a decades-long tradition afforded by the municipal government, to raise the beautiful Estonian blue, black and white flag and sing Estonia’s national anthem to commemorate the country’s anniversary of independence on February 24th. For it was also the first anniversary of Russia’s belligerent and uncalled-for invasion of Ukraine.

Hence seeing the also beautiful Ukrainian blue and yellow flag already atop the ceremonial flagpole on the ramp to the rotunda was no surprise, although the slight disappointment of the realization that the Estonian-Canadian ceremony would not take place was there. That soon disappeared, after encountering Kairi Taul Hemingway in the lobby of City Hall. The President of the Estonian Central Council in Canada, EKN, had been there for the 9 a.m. Ukrainian ceremony and remained to inform Estonian-Canadians of the cancellation of the event. EKN had been advised of this city decision a mere two days before. They posted the information on their Facebook page, which for those who do not participate in s...

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