National Day celebrated by short military parade this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic

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The National Day of Romania ceremony held in the Arch of Triumph Square on Tuesday, December 1, 2020 was not open to the public and took place in a restricted format, with only several officials attending, among whom there were President Klaus Iohannis, Prime Minister Ludovic Orban, members of the government and of the parliament and foreign diplomats. The ceremony lasted around 30 minutes.

The restricted ceremonies were prompted by the coronavirus pandemic restrictions.

President Klaus Iohannis said in his speech on the National Day that, like in all the important moments that are honoured on National Day, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic requires the involvement of all citizens, stressing that “united, in solidarity and determined” we will get through this difficult period well.

“Dear Romanians, today, as in all the important moments we honour on National Day, we need the involvement of each of us. Our goal must be to support efforts to overcome this challenging period and to engage in a new commitment to the future. It will not be easy, but I am sure that together, with energy and responsibility, we will be able to approach, every day, a return to normal times. Throughout Romania, we have seen heartwarming stories about people joining forces to help others, about people who volunteer, about people who continuously donate to hospitals in difficulty. That is the union of Romanians in 2020!” President Iohannis addressed the citizens from the small ceremony held at the Arch of Triumph.

And when this pandemic is overcome, we will meet again. We will be together and say that we have won while being united and that, whatever we have to face further, we will win together!”

The President pointed out that, during this period of crisis, Romania though sees an opportunity to restart its energies for growth and prosperity. “Now is the time to formulate responsible and realistic strategies, to repair where the damage is deep, to develop ambitious and long-term projects where we have been suffering for decades,” the Romanian head of state said.

President Iohannis also referred to the coming elections of Sunday, December 6, saying that Romanians will have the opportunity again to make their voice heard, by voting to elect a new Parliament.

“It is that moment when we can build a Romania whose future is more than a promise, more palpable than a dream and closer than the horizon of our hopes. A Parliament with honest, more hardworking, better people. I find very appropriate the words of Iuliu Maniu, one of the architects of the[December 1, 1918] Union, who said that full freedom and equal sharing the state power of the citizens is the only solid basis for the development of a state. It depends on the actions of each of for the younger generations to live in peace, prosperity and stability, “Iohannis said.

He pointed out that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, National Day was marked differently than usual.

“Dear Romanians, in this square, which has witnessed so many holidays, today we are much less than usual. The cadence of the military, the joy in the eyes of children, lifted up in the arms of emotional parents or grandparents, are images we are missing and want to see again as soon as possible. In this context in which we find ourselves now, watched over as in previous years by the Arc de Triomphe, the symbol of the sacrifice and hope of the Romanian nation, I wish the Romanians Happy National Day wherever they are, health and optimism! Never in the past decades have we welcomed December 1 with such concern and heartbreak. The health crisis that has changed the life of the planet, the COVID-19 pandemic that has affected us, compels us to mark National Day differently than usual,” said Iohannis.

President Klaus Iohannis laid a wreath and a moment of silence was held in the memory of the Romanian heroes who fell on the battlefields and of the victims of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and 21 cannon shots were fired.

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