Defence Minister Gabriel Les, accompanied by the Chief of the Romanian Naval Forces (SMFN), Vice Admiral Alexandru Mirsu attended on Wednesday a traditional military and religious ceremony to commemorate the fallen sailors at the Cross of Sailors monument in Constanta.
During the event, which debuted on boardwalk before the Casino in Constanta, at the Cross of Sailors monument by the performance of the national anthem and a parade of the guard of honor, archbishop of Tomis, Theodosius, performed a memorial service in memory of the fallen navigators of the Romanian Navy and Merchant Navy who sacrificed their lives under the national flag on sea missions.
After the memorial service, the attendees laid wreaths at the monument.
In the second part of the event, on the esplanade of the Fleet Command, from the boardwalk, Les watched the presentation of medals to 70 military personnel, civilians and non-governmental organisations, by the Navy Staff.
Referring to this event, Mirsu said that this is a moment of affirming gratitude towards the comrades in the maritime force.
''The day of August 14 has become a tradition for us, military sailors, like Thanksgiving, the day we honour those who have shown over time love and devotion to the good and the advancement of the Romanian Navy. Today, in the spirit of the tradition of the Romanian people, we are commemorating those who are no longer, but who, through their acts of bravery and supreme sacrifice at sea, on the Danube or on land, wrote history and forever went down in the memory of the sailors. At the same time, just as family is the basic cell in the Romanian society, the crew is the basic cell of the Romanian Naval Forces, and teamwork and cohesion of the crew are fundamental values for the family of the military sailors. So let's not forget to highlight and be thankful to those who, through their special actions and results, have contributed to raising the quality levels and increasing the prestige of the Romanian Navy. The decorations they receive today represent the official recognition of their merits and represent a reason of pride for the families they belong to,'' Vice Admiral Mirsu said.
Similar ceremonies, organised by the SMFN to bring to public attention the bravery of the sailors who fought on the Danube and at sea, in the War of Independence, in the two world wars, as well as the supreme sacrifice that the sailors made of over time were also held at Mangalia, at the Fallen Sailor's Monument, and in Tulcea, at the Heroes Cemetery.