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The annual commemoration of Victory Day and St. John’s Day In Cleveland was held in the Estonian Cultural Garden.  Ours is one of 29 nationality gardens in the Cleveland Cultural Gardens.  This event marked the end of our multiyear project to renovate the Estonian Cultural Garden.  Over the years, we have had Brian West of Still-Life Landscapes replace the crumbling sidewalk with an artfully laid flagstone walkway and planter. The Concrete and Mason’s Union 404 stripped and refinished the monument. They also assisted renowned sculptor David Deming (retired President of Cleveland Institute of Art) in mounting the new bronze flame. The landscapers finished their plantings in time for our annual June 24 gathering.  

Ex-Lakewood Resident Died In Vietnam During Sortie


He came from Estonia to Lakewood as a young boy with his parents, sister and brother, and pursued what was then known as the American Dream: Voted best-looking by the Lakewood High School class of 1960, was headed for the University of Miami to major in business administration and had a “cool Ford convertible.” But his goal of becoming a businessman shifted toward dreams more patriotic, and on a summer night in 1966, the day before his 25th birthday, Aado Kommendant’s plane was shot down over the dense jungle of South Vietnam, on his 17th flying mission as a U.S. Air Force pilot. Searchers were unable to find Kommendant, then a lieutenant, and the commanding pilot of the F4C Phantom jet, Capt. Charles W. Walling.


On Monday, June 4th, the Seabrook Educational and Cultural Center (SECC) welcomed Estonian independent video media to record the history of Seabrook Estonians: Producer, director Toomas Lepp, editor Mati Kirotar and cameraman Peeter Ülevain who captured the oral history. Film crew was especially interested in the arrival from D.P. camps to Seabrook and numerous other historical picture displays.  Great interest was shown in the diorama of Seabrook factory and surrounding community which was built to exact scale and donated by Bob Hasuike. Toomas Lepp’s interviews with John Fuyuume offered great insight into the mission of the museum. Local press also interviewed Toomas Lepp and Juhan Simonson.   Helgi Viire, Secretary Seabrook Estonian Society  


The Estonian national women's basketball team has started competition in Group B in the 2012 European basketball championships. Two members of the team are recent graduates from American colleges and universities. Kati Rausberg earned a BA with a double major in International Business and Management at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida.  Viive-Kai Rebane earned a BA with a major in Psychology at Binghamton University in Binghamton, New York. The team's games are scheduled from June 13 to July 14, 2012. Fans may follow the team on the Internet at .   Lisa A. Mets, Kesk Florida Eesti Selts  


On Saturday, September 29, 2012, the Estonian American National Council will celebrate its 60th anniversary with a special black-tie Gala. Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves will join over 200 dignitaries, EANC members, Estonian-Americans and other well-wishers for a memorable evening at the Willard InterContinental Hotel, steps from the White House in the heart of downtown Washington DC.  The commemoration will honor not only the work of EANC and recipients of EANC awards, but will also celebrate Estonia’s hard-won independence and tremendous economic success since 1991.  


On Monday, 4 June, Foreign Ministry Secretary General Alar Streimann randomly selected the winners of the Foreign Ministry’s Estonia-themed web-based quiz. The grand prizes of the Foreign Ministry’s web-based quiz were trips to Estonia, which went to the Netherlands and Russia. The goal of the Foreign Ministry Estonia quiz is to introduce Estonia to citizens of other countries by offering participants new and interesting facts in the hopes of inspiring them to do further research into Estonia and visit the country.


Tribute To Donald Rumsfeld And Gulag Exhibit Preview Washington, DC – Donald Rumsfeld, Former U.S. Secretary of Defense, and Annette Lantos, Chairman of the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice, will headline a list of speakers and guests from Capitol Hill and Washington’s diplomatic corps at a June 12, 2012 10:00 a.m. EDT wreath laying ceremony at the Victims of Communism Memorial (located on Capitol Hill, see for map and directions).


ERR News - In a recently published survey by the Institute of Economic -Research, 75 percent of respondents said Estonians drink too much alcohol.  Eighty-one percent of res-pondents found it necessary to reduce alcohol consumption in the nation. But only 2 percent of those polled admitted to drinking too much themselves.  The poll also suggested that consumption habits have become more similar to other Nordic countries, as Estonians have started consuming beverages with lower alcohol content.  In total, 10.2 liters of pure alcohol was consumed per person last year. In Finland, the figure was 10.1 liters. Compared to 2010, alcohol consumption in Estonia rose by 5.7 percent. The Ministry of Social Affairs aims to reduce the annual consumption of alcohol to eight liters of pure alcohol per person. 


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