Verbum creat omniaThe Word creates all.

Words can be used to create and unite; to recognise and show appreciation; to guide and encourage. Words and the way they are used are the president’s primary tool for setting the course of society.

Cherishing Estonia is a collection of speeches given during the first half of President of the Republic of Estonia Kersti Kaljulaid’s five-year term. Close to one hundred speeches given in Estonian, English, French, and Russian have fit into these two and a half years. President Kaljulaid has spoken before local Estonian government councils and the UN General Assembly, Korean entrepreneurs and Ukrainian officials, small handfuls of individuals and audiences numbering in the thousands. Her speeches have been delivered live, recorded, on television, and in writing.

This book includes formal and everyday speeches, brief greetings and lengthier reflections, thoughts both cheerful and painful. The selection is not meant to summarise Kaljulaid’s early presidency or outline the general pattern and structure of her speeches. Rather, it is a weaving meant to give an impression of the various situations in which a head of state can wield her primary tool: words.