A military ceremony was held in Bucharest on Wednesday, where pedestrian detachments representing the military structures of the Romanian Army that carried out missions in Afghanistan, starting from 2002 and until June of this year, marched under the Arc de Triomphe. Traffic was blocked along Kiseleff Boulevard.
The parade was opened by a detachment of soldiers wounded during the over 19 years of participation of the Romanian Army in missions in Afghanistan. The parade device also includes a detachment of the Romanian Gendarmerie, which also performed missions in this theater of operations. Also, the battle flags of some commands, large units and units of the Romanian Army that led or executed missions in the theater of operations were decorated.
During the ceremony, a moment of silence was observed and a wreath will be laid in memory of the fallen soldiers in the theaters of foreign operations, and aircraft crews will fly over the monument.
The event was attended by President Klaus Iohannis, Prime Minister Florin Cîțu, NATO Deputy Mircea Geoana, Minister of Defense, Minister of Interior, but also other officials.
President Klaus Iohannis said on Wednesday in his speech at the military ceremony organized on the occasion of the end of the Romanian Army mission in Afghanistan, that he thanks the families of the soldiers who went on a mission “for understanding and support.” “It’s not easy to listen to the radio, keep your eyes on the TV, start at every phone signal or every time a military car stops near your home,” the head of state said.
According to the Romanian President, the mission of the Romanian Armed Forces in Afghanistan will remain in the history books as the longest, most complex and important military operation outside the national territory since the Second World War.
“During the period of 19 years, more than 32,000 soldiers have taken part in the actions in Afghanistan. There are thousands of women and men who left their parents in the country, to whom they could no longer be close when it was difficult for them, they left children in the country, whom they could no longer see growing up, they left dear people , from whom they parted ways for a while to take part in a life-threatening mission,” Klaus Iohannis stated.
“Participation in this large-scale military operation was also an important strategic position of Romania, our country thus joining the NATO member states in the global war on terrorism and demonstrating genuine adherence to a set of Euro-Atlantic values. At the same time, Romania has shown that it is a reliable partner of the United States of America, hard hit by the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001,” he added.
“But beyond the numbers and statistics, the success of this mission is largely due to the support from the families of the soldiers, who remained at home. Children with a parent who went on missions, relatives who received with all their hearts every news about the developments in the conflict areas or who lived their joys and dramas in the country, without our soldiers being able to take part in them, were all part of the effort in Afghanistan. It’s not easy to listen to the radio, keep your eyes on the TV, startle at every signal on your phone, or every time a military car stops near your home. To all these families, parents, spouses, daughters and sons, I want to thank them for their understanding and support!,” President Iohannis concluded.
However, the military parade has paralyzed the road traffic in Bucharest due to the traffic restrictions and closed streets , which stirred the drivers and pedestrians’ discontent.
Bucharesters complained about the traffic jams and wondered why such a parade was not scheduled on a weekend, when the traffic in the Capital is at a lower rate.