The Association of Former Political Prisoners in Romania, the “December 21, 1989” Association, the “Memorial of the Revolution December 16-22, 1989 Timisoara” Association, the Sighet Memorial of the Victims of Communism and of the Resistance and the National Council for the Study of the Securitate Archives were decorated, on Saturday, by President Klaus Iohannis, in a ceremony that took place at the Cotroceni Palace.
“Today is not like any other day. Thirty years ago, the revolutionary wave started in Timisoara and spread to Bucharest, where Romanian started to shout for their freedom, a shout that they kept buried in their hearts for 45 years. (…) By decorating you today, I honour the Day of the Victory against Communism in Romania, on behalf of the Romanian state, the chance of a society that does not forget its heroes and does not abandon their ideals,” the head of state said, at the ceremony during which he decorated the five institutions and associations with the “Cultural Merit” Order, in rank of Knight.
Iohannis showed that he chose to start his new term in office with this public action in order to convey the clear message that he will continue to fight for the preservation of our national memory, to honour the memory of the victims of totalitarianism, the sacrifice of the Romanian heroes, to defend democratic values and the rule of law.
“We cannot build Romania’s democratic future, unless we assume our past, which implies, first of all, the firm recognition and condemnation of the systematic attacks against democracy, human dignity, fundamental rights and freedoms durign the communist regime,” said the President.
The head of state said that the decorated institutions and associations have succeeded, through their remarkable activity, to avoid “minimizing the sacrifice of those people who, from democratic positions, strongly opposed a criminal regime” and “prevented,” after 1989, people from forgetting or trivializing their immeasurable sacrifice.”
He also appreciated the involvement of the respective institutions and associations in the education of the younger generations.
The decorations were bestowed upon Octav Bjoza, president of the Association of Former Political Prisoners in Romania, Doru Maries, president of the “December 21, 1989” Association , Traian Orban, president of the “Revolution Memorial December 16-22, 1989, Timisoara” Association, Ana Blandiana, founding member of the Memorial of the Victims of Communism and of the Resistance Sighet and Constantin Buchet, president of the CNSAS College.