The French Ambassador Michèle Ramis, the German Ambassador Cord Meier-Klodt, and the Bulgarian Ambassador Todor Churov, will attend on Sunday, November 11, for the fourth year in a row, a joint ceremony commemorating the end of the World War I, and especially the centenary of the truce of November 11, 1918.
The ceremony will pay a tribute to the French, German and Bulgarian soldiers who died on the battlefield as well as to all the civilians who were victims of the violence of the Great War, and will begin at 14.30 with laying wraths at the square of the French Heroes from the Bellu Cemetery (1 Oltenitei Road), and will continue starting at 15.30 at the squares of the German and Bulgarian soldiers from the Pro Patria Cemetery (7 Oltenitei Road).
SIGNIFICANCES OF THE DAY OF NOVEMBER 11
FRANCE – “ARMISTICE”
The day of November 11, 1918, the end of the World War I, is celebrated in France under the name “Armistice”. The first truce from Compiègne (in French, Armistice de Rethondes) was concluded on November 11, 1918, between the German Empire and the two Western powers, France and the United Kingdom. Today, the truce continues to be commemorated on November 11, with emphasis on maintaining peace, friendship between nations and honoring the heroes’ memory. Since 2006, the day of November 11 is also dedicated to the tribute paid to all those who sacrificed themselves for France.
The 531 French soldiers who died during the World War I are buried in cemeteries from Bucharest, Constanta, Galati, Iasi, Slobozia and Timisoara. Some of them were members of the unit led by General Henri Mathias Berthelot in his mission to assist the Romanian army between 1916 and 1918, providing counseling and training, as well as an important medical aid for both the Romanian soldiers and civilians.
In France, the symbol of the memory and solidarity for the veterans, war victims, widows and orphans, is „Bleuet de France”. This symbol was chosen because the cornflowers (“bleuet” in French) continued to grow on the Western front that was devastated by bombs.
GERMANY – “THE DAY FOR COMMEMORATING THE VICTIMS OF WAR AND VIOLENCE”
The Day for Commemorating the Victims of War and Violence was established by the German War Graves Commission, founded in 1919 in the memory of those who died in the World War I.
The first official ceremony was held in 1922 in Berlin, in the German Reichstag. In 1934, the Nazi leaders established by the law The Day for Commemorating the Victims of War and Violence as a national holiday entitled “Heroes’ Remembrance Day”.
After the birth of the German Federal Republic, the German War Graves Commission reintroduced The Day for Commemorating the Victims of War and Violence, the first ceremony being held in 1950, in the plenary hall of the German Bundestag.
As a result of a convention between the federal Government, Lands and the great religious denominations, the date was set for the penultimate Sunday of the church (evangelical) year, respectively the 33rd Sunday of the liturgical (Roman Catholic) year. The German War Graves Commission considers this commemoration day a day of mourning and sadness, even the war was long ago. However, the Day for Commemorating the Victims of War and Violence has also become a call for reconciliation, understanding and peace. The “forced” sadness wasn’t the essence of the Day for Commemorating the Victims of War and Violence, but the goal was to visibly mark the solidarity between those who didn’t suffer losses and the families of those who died.
In more than 1,000 places from Romania, over 90,000 German soldiers form the two World Wars are buried (mausoleums, military cemeteries and common graves). The most important cemeteries are in Buzau (10,420 people buried), Iasi (over 5,000), Bucharest (3,855), Braila (3,278), Batinesti-Tifesti (2,872), Targu-Jiu (1,681), Bordesti (999), Dragoslavele-Joseni (911), Ramnicu-Sarat (933), Pitesti (609), Galati (596) and Soveja (529).
In the cemetery of the German soldiers Pro Patria from Bucharest, there are 3,855 German soldiers buried (2292 soldiers from the World War I, and 1563 soldiers from the World War II), 300 Austro-Hungarians, 165 Bulgarians, 18 Russians, 8 Hungarians, 6 Romanians, one Italian, one Serbian and 38 unknown soldiers.
BULGARIA – “ARHANGELOVA ZADUSHNICA”
In Bulgaria, the commemoration day is called “arhangelova zadushnica”. Zadushnica is a day in the Orthodox calendar in which Bulgarians commemorate the souls of those who died, which gave the name „zadushnica”, meaning “for the soul/for the sake of the soul”. Every year, in November, Bulgarians celebrate „arhangelova zadushnica”. This day is dedicated to the souls of the soldiers who died in various wars in the past. For this reason, this day is also called „mazhka zadushnica“ – the day for commemorating the souls of the men. In this day, commemorations are taking place in the military cemeteries and at other memorial places, to pay a tribute to the heroes who died in wars and battles for Bulgaria’s freedom.
163 Bulgarian soldiers who died during the World War I are buried in cemeteries from Babadag, Cocos, Pitulati, Batogu, Sarinasuf and Celic Dere.