On December the 1st, we celebrate the golden moment of the Romanian nation’s history, the day when, back in 1918, the National Assembly voted in favor of the Union of Transylvania with Romania, in Alba-Iulia, thus, making the Romanians’ centuries-old dream come true: to live united in a single nation.
The resolution publicly presented by Vasile Goldiș, our famous predecessor, stated for posterity: “The National Assembly of all Romanians from Transylvania, Banat and Hungarian Country, gathered through their rightful representatives in Alba Iulia, on December 1, 1918, decrees the union of those Romanians and all territories inhabited by them with Romania. In particular, the Assembly proclaims the inalienable right of the Romanian nation to the entire Banat, bordered by Mureș, Tisza and the Danube.”
Shortly after, King Ferdinand would ratify this proclamation by a decree-law, on December 11, 1918, thus conferring legal force on the national will from Alba Iulia. In the report submitted to the king for the issuance of the legislative act, Prime Minister Ion IC Brătianu noted: “This union, on the day when our great allies are victors, comes from the power of the Romanian people, the bravery of our soldiers and the will of the Romanian people everywhere. It is based on the very being of the Romanian nation, who, for almost two thousand years, in the midst of all the brave weather, has been able to maintain its national conscience untouched. ”
The Armed Forces represented one of the pillars on which the national edifice was built, and the sacrifice of the soldiers on the battlefields of the World War I was rewarded by the success of the Great Union carried out by the will of all Romanians.
As every year, the Romanian Armed Forced marks the celebration of the Great Union by celebrations and events organized countrywide and abroad, as a tribute to those who have died fighting for freedom, faith and the nation, and who have put the Motherland beyond one’s very existence, through their sacrifice.
All those who, under the oath of faith, chose the destiny to be permanently in the service of the country – active military or reserve, know that the history of Romania has been written with many sacrifices, and each hand of the homeland has been defended with faith, honor and dignity by its Armed Forces.
As we get closer to the end of 2019, we remember how the Romanian Army paid, during a period of profound transformations and participation in external missions, its tribute of blood and tears. We honor the memory of the 30 Romanian fallen soldiers who died while on duty in theaters of operations Romania has been engaged, and we pay respect to the nearly 200 soldiers injured in these actions. The Armed Forces paid this heavy blood price, not only outside the country’s borders, but also in missions carried out on the national territory, so that Romania can fulfill its obligation to be an active part of the international community, as part of the global effort to build a better and safer world. The sacrifice of our comrades-in-arms has not been, is not and will never be forgotten.
The glorious tradition imposes a responsible assumption of the future. We have a duty to provide our military with the best training conditions and the best equipment. With a budget of two percent of GDP, ensured by political consensus at the highest level, for the third year in a row, military specialists were able to think and implement important endowment programs with new weapons systems, different programs, currently under various stages of elaboration and completion.
In the coming year, our military will continue to fulfill, with great responsibility, courage and professionalism, the security commitments assumed by Romania internationally, in the theaters of operations in Afghanistan and the Western Balkans, but also on the Eastern flank of the Alliance through its military contingents deployed to Poland. Last but not least, about 2 months ago, the “Carpathian Pumas”, a helicopter detachment belonging to the Romanian Air Force was deployed to the Republic of Mali to participate in the peacekeeping mission – MINUSMA, an operation conducted under the aegis of the UN.
This consistent national effort, since sending military personnel in foreign operations is an affective and material effort of the whole country, does not go unnoticed by NATO partners. Thus, ever since the initial measures taken to strengthen regional security in response to Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea, the allies have responded favorably to Romania’s proposals to strengthen the allied presence on the entire eastern flank, consecrating the Black Sea Region as a space of prime importance for security of the entire Alliance.
In accordance with the decisions to consolidate the allied posture on the eastern flank, Romania hosts an architecture of command-control structures: the NATO Force Integration Unit (NFIU), the Multinational Brigade in Craiova and the Multinational Command of the South-East Division in Bucharest, to which will be added a corps-level command, which will operate in Sibiu.
The Romanian Armed Forces fulfills, through the people who proudly wear its uniform, the destiny of a fundamental institution of the country, a force always ready to face of any challenges, to guarantee, as required by the fundamental law, the sovereignty, independence and unity of the state, territorial integrity of the country and constitutional democracy.
On the occasion of this holy celebration of the Romanian nation, I congratulate and send my best wishes and success on the activity of all Armed Forces personnel, their families, as well as war veterans, reserve corps and, last but not least, the citizens of the country.
We value and honor the National Day of Romania, we keep it deep in our souls as a holy symbol, with the belief that it is not a higher mission than to serve, under the Oath, the Motherland in which one was born.
May God bless the Romanian people, the Romanian Armed Forces, and may the souls of the heroes of our nation rest in peace!
Happy Union Day, Romania!