Training and acquisitions are still key directions when it comes to the Romanian Army, Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca said on Friday at a ceremony celebrating combat veterans.
“The importance of a defensive capacity is more important than ever in this period, when Russia’s unprovoked and illegitimate military aggression against Ukraine is threatening the security of the region and even the whole world. Training and acquisitions are still key directions when it comes to the Romanian Army strengthening the defence capacity of Romania and responding to geostrategic demands and challenges as an external border state of the Euro-Atlantic community and the Schengen area,” said Ciuca.
He added that a main objective of the government is to continue the process of acquiring modern defence equipment and technology for the Romanian Army “to which end we have pledged to increase public defence spending from 2 to 2.5% of the GDP.”
“Professionalism remains the main quality of the Romanian Army,” said Ciuca, who paid tribute to soldiers killed in action, assuring their families of support.
“Like the brave WWII veterans, you have contributed to the making of the history of this country, to the consolidation of Romania’s international profile. The respect enjoyed by the Romanian Army among its international partners and the trust extended by the citizens is also due to you,” said Ciuca.
Defence Minister Angel Tilvar said that over 330,000 Romanian soldiers lost their lives in WWI, and 76,000 were wounded. He also paid tribute to the civilian victims of the same war.
“We are also paying tribute to all those who were killed in that bloody war, in the name and for the future of Romania. Through their sacrifice and blood, the majestic edifice of the Greater Union was to be built,” said the minister, referring to the significance of November 11.
He added that the significance of this day for the Romanian Army is also related to the fact that, on November 11, 2003, Iosif Silviu Fogorasi became the first Romanian soldier to die in the Afghan war zone.
“The tragic event of that bloody November reminded us how difficult and at what price freedom is defended and gave the measure of the spirit of sacrifice and the love of the country of the Romanian soldiers, 30 of whom were killed on missions in the war zones in Afghanistan, Iraq and the Western Balkans. We will carry their eternal memory, praying for the repose of their souls. We are and will stand with the families of those killed in action in the country or abroad, as a duty of honour,” said Tilvar.
The military and religious ceremony took place at the military memorial in Parcul Tineretului, Bucharest.
Marking Combat Veterans’ Day on November 11 was established in Romania in recognition of their merits in the defence of Romania’s interests.
The day was chosen for its symbolism: the entry into force, on November 11, 1918 of the Armistice between the Entente Powers and Germany that ended WWI and paved the way for Romania’s Greater Union of December 1, 1918.
Between 1996 and 2022, 30 Romanian soldiers were killed on missions in war zones and over 200 were wounded.
President Iohannis: You are models of selflessness for the future generations
President Klaus Iohannis on Friday sent a message on the occasion of the Day of Veterans from the Theatres of Operations in which he says that they are “true models when it comes to one’s love for the country” and also when it comes to their fight in the name of national ideals, while they are also “models of selflessness” for future generations.
“Today we celebrate the Day of Veterans in the Theatres of Operations, in recognition of the courage and patriotism they showed far from their country and families, in the theatres of operations on different continents. It is a day with special symbolism, for on November 11, 1918 it was signed the Armistice between the Entente Powers and Germany, which ended the First World War. (…) Dear veterans from the theatres of operations, you represent true models when it comes to one’s love for the country and when it comes to your fight in the name of national ideals. You are, at the same time, models of selflessness for the future generations. We thank you and assure you of our respect and gratitude! We also thank your families for their remarkable efforts to constantly support you to carry out your missions in the theatres of operations,” the head of state said in the message, according to the Presidential Administration.
President Iohannis shows that, through the sense of duty and professionalism shown on the battlefield, the Romanian soldiers enjoy the respect and appreciation of their comrades from allied and partner states.
“We are grateful to the veterans from the theatres of operations for their dedication, because they put the defence of Euro-Atlantic democratic values and Romania’s security first,” says Iohannis.
He paid a pious tribute to those who fell on duty under the Romanian tricolor, while saying that their ultimate sacrifice will never be forgotten.
“Today we also thank the veterans of the Second World War, as well as the troops who, at present, are carrying out international missions under the auspices of NATO, the European Union, the UN and the coalitions to which our country is a part,” says the head of state.
He stated that the sacrifice of the war veterans in the theatres of operations takes on a deeper meaning in this period when we are “witnesses a brutal war” launched by the Russian Federation against Ukraine, which has resulted in the loss of human lives and put to the test an entire nation.
“Romania, together with its allies and partners, is fully engaged in the joint effort to manage this crisis and support the Ukrainian people,” said Iohannis.
Compiled from Agerpres