The memory of the American servicemen who lost their lives on the Romanian territory during World War II was honoured on Thursday by wreath-laying at the American Heroes Monument in Cismigiu Park, with the event being attended by US ambassador to Romania Nicholas Taubman and State Secretary at the Romanian Defence Ministry Corneliu Dobritoiu.
Taubman in an address stressed the importance of celebrating the Memorial Day, which the United States observes on May 26 of every year, to pay homage to the American soldiers who gave their lives in defence of their country.
He explained that Memorial Day was the product of an initiative 140 years ago, after the American Civil War. 'We honor our warriors this Memorial Day by pledging ourselves against apathy and pessimism that would seek to deny to the next generation the opportunity for self-improvement, or for fulfilling the dreams of those who have worked and sacrificed to make this life worthy of greatness', ambassador Taubman said.
State Secretary Dobritoiu underscored the importance Romania gives to praising the nation's heroes and pointed out that the Memorial Day has a special significance in Romania, in view of the friendship and alliance with the American people and of the contribution that the two countries' soldiers made and are making together to various peacekeeping missions.
During the ceremony in Cismigiu Park, a Guard of Honour played the Romanian and U.S. state anthems; the event was also attended by other U.S. Embassy officials and Romanian Army officers as well as military attaches in Bucharest.
The American Heroes Monument was inaugurated in 2002 and it was restored and re-placed to a better position in 2006. The monument praises the memory of 378 American airmen who lost their lives on the Romanian territory during World War II.
The monument was raised with the support from the International French-Romanian Foundation, a Romanian NGO and from the U.S. Embassy in Bucharest.