President of the Republic Sauli Niinistö’s speech for the unveiling of the grave memorial for Former President of the Republic of Finland Mauno Koivisto on 25 November 2018

President Mauno Koivisto left a deep and permanent mark on our nation’s history. His life’s work left behind a map that strengthened democratic Finland and led us to the new millennium.

The key routes on President Koivisto’s map – unity, trust, a sense of justice, democracy and our parliamentary system are the directions in which we should continue to travel also in the future. Finland’s people knew their president, trusted him and trusted that his actions were for the best of our country.

Kartta, which is the Finnish word for map, is a memorial that speaks volumes. A map shows the way and illustrates the terrain. Without its help, it is difficult to plan a route and the risk of losing one’s way increases. A map also gives us an understanding of dimensions and scale. Of how we are part of a larger whole, the world order. President Koivisto worked tirelessly to maintain the rules and harmony of this order.

We are now living in a time that has been referred to as the post-truth era. In today’s world, people have the tendency to speak before giving consideration to what they are about to say. The map Mauno Koivisto carved out did not always take the path of least resistance, and our journey has taken us through rocky terrain and many twists and turns. However, it never led us to a dead end. The message to all of us is clear: there is always a road to the future. And it is the future towards which we must set our course.

Remembering our history does not mean getting stuck in the past. This rock will stand the test of time. It is our task and the task of those who come after us to ensure that the land around it blossoms.