Twenty years ago, on December 17, 1989, the people of Romania carried forward the wave of freedom that was sweeping through Central Europe. First in Timisoara and then across Romania, men and women dared to stand up to tyranny. They risked their own safety, and in the process liberated a nation.
Today is an opportunity to celebrate the great progress Romania has achieved in the years since those fateful December days. Twenty years ago, no one knew what would emerge from the ruins of Communism. But because of the determination and courage of the Romanian people, today their country stands as a strong democracy, a vibrant new member of the European Union, and a valued member of NATO.
The United States is proud to call Romania a trusted friend and ally. On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I congratulate the people of Romania on twenty years of democracy. On this historic occasion, let us recommit ourselves to the values championed by the brave men and women of 1989 -- democracy, human rights, the rule of law -- and to working together to meet the challenges of the 21st century.
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