31 years after the December 1989 revolution in Romania, the heroes of those days were commemorated in Bucharest and other cities across the country.
31 years ago, on December 16, thousands of Romanians, who had been deprived of some of their fundamental rights, and who had had enough of suffering and deprivation, had the courage to take to the streets in the western city of Timisoara to ask for their right to freedom and justice and to try to relinquish the Communist dictatorship that ruled the country for more than 40 years. On December 17, Timisoara became the first city free of Communism following the repression of the protesters by the authorities that opened fire on them. The uprising extended, as of December 21, to the entire country, to the capital Bucharest and other cities. The protests that led to the fall of the Communist regime culminated with the trial and execution of the Ceausescus. Actually what happened in Romania was in line with a larger-scale transformation that had already started in Eastern Europe.
Every year Romania commemorates its heroes, those people who died for an ideal which they believed in. In Bucharest as well as in other cities, the anti-Communist revolution heroes were commemorated in the special conditions imposed by the new coronavirus pandemic. In the Revolution Square in Bucharest the participants in the commemoration ceremony recalled the sacrifice of the December 1989 heroes with emotion:
“We had other ideals, other expectations and today we realize that the people in power tend to forget about those heroes and the people’s ideals at the moment of the revolution. Romanians wanted freedom and also normal education and healthcare systems.”
“I am literally devastated, remembering those moments, I guess I was the first person to speak with my kids on Ceausescu’s phone.”
In a message which President Klaus Iohannis conveyed on Tuesday, on the occasion of the Romanian Revolution and Freedom Victory Day, he underlined that 31 years ago Romanians set the foundation of today’s democratic Romania, turning their revolt, the pain and terror, accumulated during decades of tyranny, into the driving force of the anti-Communist Revolution. President Iohannis also recalled that through their sacrifice in December 1989, Romania’s heroes put an end to an illegitimate and criminal regime, and their courage and determination rendered our freedom and dignity.
Klaus Iohannis highlighted that for freedom and democracy Romania’s heroes paid a big price in December 1989, after 45 years of crimes and cruelty that broke Romania’s normal relation with the family of European democracies. At the same time, Klaus Iohannis underlined that the justice system should do its duty and condemn those guilty of the bloody repression of December 1989, showing that the pain of those who lost their loved ones in the revolution was increased by the state’s incapacity to do them justice. (tr. L. Simion)