Monday, December 1, 2008

National Day

Buna Ziua Naţional! 1 Decembrie 2008! 90 de Ani!
It is a glorious day in Cluj-Napoca, with a bright blue sky and mild autumn air for the celebrations. I attended the laying of wreaths at the foot of the statue of Avram Iancu, then went into the Ortodox Cathedral in the Piaţa Avram Iancu and lit candles in memory of my parents. As I came out of the cathedral, I heard English spoken, and asked a man of about my age where he was from. "London," he said, "and you're from America." Gary Stallworthy is living in Cluj with his Romanian wife. He asked for my phone number. I hope he calls.

Of course, while returning home, I thought of my British-Romanian friends, Rob and Roxana Wright of Plymouth State University and Campton, New Hampshire.

I had on the Romanian-American friendship pin given me by Mihai Moroiu on my last visit to Bucharest, but was hoping to find a vendor of the colorful ribbons I saw on many coats in the Piaţa. I asked a man in a coat lettered on the back with words that had to mean "SWAT Team Captain," if he could tell me where to buy such a ribbon. At once, in crisp English, he said, "You want one? Take this one. Is not a problem!" He immediately unpinned his ribbon, and I accepted gratefully, and thanked him for his kindness. It reads, "1 Decembrie 2008, 90 de Ani," for it was 1 December 1918 when the Unification Agreements, as mentioned a few days back, were signed in Alba Iulia.

Watching the crowd at the ceremony was most interesting and moving. Veterans were honored, and I could only wonder what the older men, obviously veterans of World War II, were thinking about their country's history. Romania, like Italy, actually fought battles on the side of, and then against Nazi Germany. In Romania's case they fought first against, then later with the forces of the Soviet Union. Romania's history has been fascinating. Being a country of considerable natural wealth in agriculture, oil, and human talent in Central Europe has led to a great many political and military challenges and changes. Romanians have suffered much, and many of them have grown to be stoic and brave. They are a talented people, and are not afraid of a day's work. If Western Civilization has a bright future, Romania will have a bright future.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

From your mouth to Gods ears!
Greetings from Cluj!