The wreath laying ceremony was part of the visit of ten family members of American prisoners of war who were imprisoned in Romania during World War II.
“We are so very happy to have an opportunity to be here to pay homage today to some great heroes, some people who took actions that allowed our country to become what it is today, and for us to celebrate the freedoms that we have today,” Mr. Thompson pointed out. He welcomed the friends, neighbors and colleagues from the United States participating to the ceremony and hailed U.S. “incredible partnership” with Romania. “These treasures you brought with you are a wonderful tribute to have here for this monument, to recognize this occasion and for us to have an opportunity to remember what happened, to say thank you for the great service that so many of our countrymen gave for our freedoms and also to recognize that though it marked a period of conflict with Romania, today we have an incredible partnership with this country”.
Dean Thompson added that while 70 years are marked from the end of the heroes’ captivity, it has also to be recognized that this year marks ten years of Romania being a key ally of the United States in NATO. “We recognize that we now move forward in our relationship with a strategic partnership, which means we stand shoulder to shoulder in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. And we look forward to how we can cooperate even further not only for our national security, but for law enforcement, for humanitarian issues, for economic issues. All of these areas that we are going to build a much stronger relationship, I think, can be traced back to the kind of relationship we saw the people of Romania show to our POWs when they were here”.
The U.S. diplomat said he was quite privileged to come out a few months ago and visit the National Petroleum Museum in Ploiesti and while there, to see a small exhibit, a tribute to the POWs that had been captured. “I saw some of the letters that they sent home talking about how well they had been treated and how the Romanian people had embraced them in these particular circumstances that they found themselves in. So it was really a wonderful tribute to the experience what they had then, and the cooperation after the captivity at the end of the war, to get them out, to get them back home – those that had survived – and to help Romania in its transition period at that time, when there were so many questions about what was happening,” Dean Thompson concluded.
The visit of the American guests was coordinated by Fundatia Inocenti.