Illustrious graduates of the Finnish educational movement! For over a hundred years, you have, for your own part, built our great nation. You have strengthened our democracy and created a homeland of which we can be proud. Even before Finnish independence, you carried the torch of that longing with your head held high, unbowed and unswayed. Warriors of your calibre I have not yet seen. We will continue these endeavours for Finnish democracy dauntlessly and with an open mind.
Graduates! When the history of your work is written, the world will know of your efforts. You defend our Finland and contribute to making it ever worthier. Our time needs you, your learning and your courage to stand behind your values. I thank all of you for the work you have already done for our common homeland.
We are proudly aware that we have a historic mission, one we continue to pursue: the protection of education as an enlightening force, a legacy that has been ours – the legacy of graduates – for centuries. Over the decades, we have fought for this, from frontline libraries to the vanguard of the struggle against climate change.
Respecting our war veterans, members of the Lotta Svärd organisation, and the home front, I wish you a cultured, patriotic and peaceful Independence Day.