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Speech by General Mannerheim
at the unveiling of Monument to Heroes in Sortavala
on September 18, 1921

To once again, as the former commander-in-chief of the Finnish White Forces, I came here to express my respect and my gratitude to the men of Karelia, who performed the heroic work with a fearless hearts and ardent enthusiasm to got freedom for Fatherland; and to lay a wreath at the base of this memorial stone, under which sleeps the best of these Karelian lands – those who gave all for free Karelia and free Finland.

Pines rustle on the lands of Karelia, and the wind in their crowns whispers and tells the battles and victories of Karelian guys; but the distant melody of kantele and heavy sighs, brought by the wind from the far wilderness, from the shores of eastern waters and foreign hills, where another part of the Karelian people is still vainly waiting for the coming of brighter days, also merges into this sound.

I am convinced that once again a new tomorrow will come for the unfortunate people of the Eastern Karelia, when stronger bridges will unite their with our people.

May this monument tell for future generations about the possibilities of the Karelians and encourage them to work and sacrifice for the benefit of the Fatherland.

General Mannerheim in Sortavala

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