The wounded or dead soldiers on battle fields or operation theatres represent the sacrifice Romania has made after the NATO accession in 2004, incumbent president Traian Basescu declared on Thursday, during the ceremony celebrating 150 years since the creation of the Army's General Major State.

"During my five years mandate, there have been moments when we had to repatriate seriously wounded heroes or, even worse, those who passed away. This is why I have always been and always will be in solidarity with their families, parents, brothers, sisters, wives or children. This is the price of freedom and, on April 2 2004, when we all celebrated Romania becoming part of NATO, we knew that all the security guarantees the Alliance offered also mean the duty of being in solidarity with the other members of the Alliance, a duty that means costs, engagements and sacrifices at the same time", Traian Basescu said in the present of the wounded or dead soldiers' families, Romanian press agency NewsIn informs.

Basescu said he visited the Romanian soldiers in the foreign operation theatres. Basescu declared it impossible "to not be proud, as president and as Romanian, to have mates on the fronts in Bosnia, Iraq, Afghanistan, with the North-Atlantic Alliance or EU troops".

The Romanian chief of state thanked the Army for the support it gave the Romanian population in December 1989, and talked about "the most beautiful present Romanians received" for the Christmas holidays. He resumed by noting: "I said this on other occasions as well, that history must be assumed and that the mistakes from the past must not be repeated. This is why I condemned communism, with all its restrains and crimes, and two decades after the Revolution I reconfirm my consideration for the Romanian Army, which had to be led astray from its legal attributions and missions serving a conservative ideology and doctrine, had to separate itself from the communist system, had to get rid of the retrograde mentalities and practices and join the people.

The most beautiful present offered by the Romanian Army for the 1989 holidays was freedom and this freedom needs to be protected with any risk. Back then, the Romanian people regained its identity and Occidental virtues due to the Army's decision to join the people and not an oppressive regime", Basescu stated.