On December 1 Romanians celebrated 101 years since the creation of the Romanian unitary nation state.
December 1 became Romania’s National Day after the December 1989 anti-Communist revolution. It marks the finalization, at the end of WWI, in 1918, of the process of creating the Romanian unitary nation state, when all the provinces with a majority Romanian-speaking population from the neighboring multinational empires united under the authority of Bucharest. According to President Klaus Iohannis, this is the most emotional celebration of the Romanian nation, a symbol of freedom. It is a celebration of democracy, of the fundamental rights and liberties.
On December 1 the Romanian head of state participated in the traditional military parade at the Arch of Triumph in Bucharest and later in the day he hosted a reception at the Cotroceni Palace to mark the National Day, when Romanians also celebrated 101 years since the great union of 1918. President Iohannis reminded that this year Romania also marks 3 decades since the December 1989 revolution. He went on to say that Romanians defended democracy in the street and also at the polling stations, adding that he wanted all the Romanians who are now living abroad to come back home.
Klaus Iohannis: “The Union is our celebration, a celebration of all of us, no matter where we are. I wish all the Romanians who are now living in various parts of the world returned home; when they come back I want them to find here a functional Romania, a normal country that should give them the chance of a better future and ensure decent living standards. I believe this can come true one day, and it is up to us to make this possible.”
The military parade in Bucharest was attended by thousands of people among whom important political leaders and various personalities of the Romanian society. Participating in the parade were around 4 thousand Romanian military and experts and also military from over 20 allied or partner states, alongside 50 aircraft and over 200 military vehicles. The celebrations continued in Alba Iulia, in central Romania, the symbol of the Great Union, under the motto ‘The first year in a new century’.
Attending the celebration in Alba Iulia, the Liberal PM Ludovic Orban, addressed the participants: “My dear fellow Romanians, good afternoon! I have a simple message for you, the message chanted after each item in the Union declaration: Hooray, hooray, hooray! Long live the Greater Romania!”
A religious service was held at the Union Cathedral by high officials of the Romanian Orthodox Church that was followed by a military parade involving 1,400 military and employees of the Interior Ministry. The National Day was marked in all of Romania’s cities and also abroad. The Romanian soldiers on mission in the theaters of operations in Afghanistan, the western Balkans, Mali, Iraq and Poland also participated in military ceremonies.
In Bucharest, in a message on the national day, the Senate speaker, Teodor Melescanu, underlined that this day brings to the forefront the ideals of union, prosperity and freedom, which we have to cherish and support, to make Romania powerful. In turn, the speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, Marcel Ciolacu, urged the Romanians to remain united in the face of obstacles, to give Romania the place that it deserves and to make it brighter. (translation by L. Simion)