On Independence Day, the presidential couple thanked healthcare staff and everyday heroes: “We all serve each other in this life”

In Yle’s Independence Day live TV broadcast from the Presidential Palace on 6 December 2021, President of the Republic of Finland Sauli Niinistö and Mrs Jenni Haukio expressed their gratitude to people who have distinguished themselves during the COVID pandemic and to war veterans and members of the Lotta Svärd.

The Presidential couple’s Independence Day began on Monday with the laying of a wreath at the Hero’s Cross in Hietaniemi Cemetery, in memory of war heroes. From Hietaniemi, the presidential couple proceeded to Helsinki Cathedral, where they lit candles for Finland’s independence.

On the evening of Independence Day, President Niinistö and Jenni Haukio gave an interview to Yle’s Independence Day live TV broadcast from the Presidential Palace. The broadcast featured nurses, who shared aspects of their daily lives during the corona pandemic. In addition, the thoughts of everyday heroes of the COVID pandemic about their work and its significance for society were heard in the broadcast.

During the programme, the presidential couple spoke with nurses by remote connection from the Presidential Palace’s Hall of State. Nurse Malin Solstrand, Head Nurse Eeva-Liisa Ihander and Nurse Ilmari Jaatinen participated in the discussion. Screenshot of the Yle broadcast.

“I consider that now, during the pandemic, we have learned to appreciate the many people who do their daily work. Perhaps earlier, it was to some extent the case that we were not even aware how necessary cleaning, transport and working at checkouts really are. We all serve each other in a certain way in this life. It is a resource”, said President Niinistö in the evening broadcast.

Teacher of the Year Minna Vuori, Bus Driver Frank Ahrenberg and Cleaning Industry Supervisor of the Year Minna Junni told the presidential couple about their work during the COVID pandemic. Screenshot of the Yle broadcast.

During the evening, war veteran Unto Hakuli and member of the Lotta Svärd Helka Visuri also shared their touching greetings with the broadcast. “I thought with a cool head and warm heart,” said Visuri, recalling her thoughts during the war.

War veteran Unto Hakuli and member of the Lotta Svärd Helka Visuri sent touching greetings to everyone watching Yle’s Independence Day broadcast: “Life is worth living in any case.” Screenshot of the Yle broadcast.

Entertainment for the Independence Day was provided by Nina Tapio and Kai Hyttinen, Kaija Koo and Elastinen, who performed at the Presidential Palace accompanied by the Kaartin Combo band.

At the end of the evening, the presidential couple were asked what thanks they wished to send to all 5.5 million of the Finnish everyday heroes. “Thank you for being close to each other and for supporting each other. And also for always being aware of those who may be alone. After all, loneliness has unfortunately increased during these times. As Christmas approaches, I would like us to keep an eye on each other so that no-one is left unintentionally alone”, said Jenni Haukio.


Tasavallan presidentin tervehdys ulkosuomalaisille 6.12.2021