We were young then. Idealistic. We were braver, we were better, we were united.
Jüri stood in the empty field, stiff wind ruffling his graying hair, his cigarette smoke swept east by the wind. East to Russia.
“It seems so empty now,” I said to fill the quiet. I remember when we came all those many years ago, the pair of us in his old VW, all the way from Võru.
Jüri turned to me and nodded.
Back then more than 300,000 had come to Tallinn Song Festival Grounds to sing. Journalists wrote, activists spoke, singers wrote songs, and by September 1988, a fifth of the nation came together to sing for Estonian values. The Singing Revolution, they called it. We made history together, Jüri and I.
But now the rumblings come again. To outsiders, Estonia is but a pawn on their strategic chessboard. They underestimate the power of our song.
If you’re interested in the real-life inspiration for this fictional story, you might enjoy 30 years since the most important Singing Revolution concert.
I apologize for being late to the party! Here in Iowa, we’ve been dealing with snowstorms and shoveling, school cancellations and polar vortexes. Only in Iowa does kids’ show choir go on while everything else is cancelled.