Ära Hõiska Enne Õhtut

Paavo hurried, knowing his uncle Hillar was a stickler for punctuality.

Uncle Hillar stood beneath the flag, the thermos tucked beneath his arm as always.  And as always, he tapped his watch with his finger.

“Oh, come on,” said Paavo. “I bet it’s not even two minutes.”

Hillar shook his head.  “On time is on time, and anything after is late.”

He unscrewed the cap and poured two cups of the bitter coffee they both loved. “So, what is new on your internets?”

Paavo smiled, despite the grimness of his news. “It looks like Putin is going to do it. If he invades, Kaljulaid will have to invoke Article V. After that…” He trailed off.

“Let me tell you something, nephew. When I was a boy, Stalin tried to crush us. Then Hitler, then Stalin again. But in 1991 we finally won our freedom.” Hillar sipped his coffee. “Estonians don’t crush so easily.”

 

What Pegman Saw: Narva, Estonia

 

A note on this story:

When Estonia regained its independence after the Soviet collapse in 1991, Narva became a border town. Street signs are in Estonian script and official business is carried out in Estonian. Anyone who becomes a citizen must speak the language. But most of Narva’s population is ethnically Russian, and many are either Russian citizens or stateless residents of Estonia with gray “alien passports.”

Western security officials fear this makes Narva a prime target for Vladimir Putin, who might mimic Russia’s invasion and annexation of Crimea in 2014,

But doing this in Estonia would have major consequences: Estonia is a member of NATO. Article V of NATO’s Washington Treaty requires the 29 member countries, including and especially the United States, to come to the defense of other member states.

Anyone paying attention to current events has grave reason to be concerned. World War I began over much less.

Comments

  1. Violet Lentz

    I have learned to read the writers notes before I even start on the post when I stop in. If modern day Estonians have all the countries in NATO behind them, I have a better understanding as to why Uncle Hillar is so confident.. Exceptionally well told..

  2. pennygadd51

    Very well told story, Josh. You’ve pretty much summed up the mindset of Estonians for the last 100 years or so. Beautifully realised characters; I could see and hear them both.

  3. k rawson

    Wow, powerful story and a sobering piece of history. When I selected this location, I had no idea of the politics. Thanks for enlightening me and for this excellent story.

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  4. Lynn Love

    As you say, war have been fought over less. And when bloody minded people are in charge, who knows what will happen. Chilling bit of history and possible future there. Well written as always

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