President Klaus Iohannis on Thursday awarded "Centennial of the War for the Integration of the Nation' medals to military units, as well as cultural, and archival heritage organisations."By awarding the 'Centennial of the War for the Integration of the Nation' medals, I wish to express the gratitude of the Romanian state for the sacrifice made by the generation of the Great Union on the battlefield of the Reunification War. At the same time, the anniversary medal is the expression of our gratitude to the founding personalities of the united modern Romania. The military and civilian institutions you represent, on whose behalf you received the centennial medals, are the keepers of the memories of warriors and deeds of a century ago, which illuminate our national heritage. (...) The institutions you represent are the depositors of testimonies of a glorious past, and also of a message that has not lost its topicality: united, we are able to create another fate, worthy and well-deserved in Europe and in the world! By presenting you with the first decorations of the centennial, I am urging you to honour them by empowering the message! Your duty is to wear it further, alive and present, and help to fulfill it!," Iohannis told a ceremony at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace.
He mentioned that a few days ago it was the centennial of the first parliamentary elections in Romania held in accordance with the principles of universal suffrage.
"Although women were still excluded, the November 1919 election showed Romania's significant progress with democracy, as well as the fact that the Romanian state, in keeping with its promises made during the heavy campaign of 1917, signed up for a new political course, of a European nature. Today, November 28, marks 101 years since the Unification of Bucovina with Romania. On the sacrifices of a century ago, not only a larger Romania, of all the Romanians was built but also a homeland was created to unite all those who had wanted a better and fairer country, without discrimination or privileges. Let us remember the words of the great politician Iuliu Maniu, who, on the Field of Horea in Alba Iulia, saw the Greater Union as the opportunity to forever establish a genuine democracy and full social justice," said Iohannis.
Romania's Centennial, he said, means more than commemorating warriors or celebrating historical dates.
"The sacrifices and events that we honour were rooted in the vision of the elites for a western Romania and had been nourished by the hope of the people in an inclusive society. That country project, from the beginning, was patriotic act and a European commitment, retaining its founding nature and the role of inspiring today's generations," added Iohannis.
Director of the National Office for the Commemoration of Warriors Alin Mihai Preda thanked Iohannis for the support granted during the 2018 Greater Union Centennial and for the medal received, and Chairman of the Romanian Academy Ioan-Aurel Pop urged to confidence in the public institutions.
"I want to urge this nation to value and trust the institutions. A high civilisation is built on well-thought-out and well-established institutions on the soil of this country. The ideal of the Greater Union was the main achievement in the modern history of the Romanian nation through its accomplishments of 1918, 1919 and 1920 (...)," said Pop.
Also attending the event were Prime Minister Ludovic Orban, Defence Minister Nicolae Ciuca, and presidential advisers.
President Klaus Iohannis signed on November 15 decrees awarding "Centennial of the Greater Union" and "Centennial of the War for the Integration of the Nation" to 65 institutions, universities, museums, associations, military units, including the Romanian Academy, the National Museum of History, the University of Bucharest, the National Office for the Commemoration of Warriors, the Dr. Carol Davila Military Emergency Hospital.