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War dead honoured

Flags are flying across Finland today as part of the annual commemorations honouring the servicemen and women who died in the nation's wars since the beginning of independence in 1917.

Pro Patria Rovaniemi
Detail of a memorial to war dead in Rovaniemi. Image: Vesa Vaarama / Yle

A special memorial day honouring soldiers who had fallen in the Finnish Civil War of 1918 and the 1939-1940 Winter War was first observed in 1940.

Since 1947, observances including memorial church services and ceremonies at the graves of war dead have been held annually on the third Sunday of May.

The day also commemorates Finnish soldiers killed in United Nations peacekeeping missions.

Today's observances coincide with the celebration of Pentecost in the Christian faith.

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