Bucharest, September 21, 2022. On the occasion of the International Day of Peace, the 29th Tree of Peace was planted in the Carol I Park (Parcul Carol I) and the 18th country was added to the World Map of Peace. The high-level event started on Wednesday morning in one of Bucharest’s biggest parks. The ceremony was the culmination of the Tree of Peace Cycling Relay, which started on September 17, 2022 in Zvolen and was attended by cyclists from Romania, Ukraine and the United Kingdom. Cyclists traveled more than 1000 kilometers through three states. During the Romanian stage, cyclists were welcomed and greeted by General Daniel Petrescu, Chief of Defence Staff of the Romanian Armed Forces, in the city of Sibiu. The international relay was organized by the General Staff of the Romanian Armed Forces, Invictus Romania association and Servare et Manere, together with the Slovak Armed Forces and the Armed Forces of Hungary. The event was attended by the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Slovak Republic in Romania Mr. Karol Mistrík, Secretary-General of Servare et Manere Dr. Marek Sobola and his wife Dominika. From the Romanian side, the event was attended by His Royal Highness Prince Radu of Romania, member of the Romanian Royal Family, Mr. Eduard Bachide, State secretary for the relationship with the Parliament and the quality of life of the staff, the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Land Forces of Romania, Mr. Major General Cristian-Daniel Dan and also all the cyclists who a day in advance prepared a pit for planting a memorial oak tree. Among the guests were also officers from France, Norway, the United States, Poland, Hungary and Ukraine.
His Royal Highness Prince Radu of Romania opened the event with a short speech in which he thanked for the initiative to include the capital of Romania in a series of cities that already host 29 Trees of Peace in 17 countries on 4 continents. Prince highlighted the role of Servare et Manere in maintaining the memory of Romanian soldiers who fell on Slovak soil in the Second World War. The first Slovak Tree of Peace related to Romania was planted in November 2021 at the Central Military Cemetery of the Romanian Royal Army in Zvolen. The planting was also a reminder of the Centenary of the birth of King Michael I of Romania, the last Romanian king. “The Tree of Peace Cycling Relay took place over several days and the cyclists covered 1000 kilometers. The aim of the peace relay is to present friendship between nations, cohesion, courage and tenacity. This is also how we wanted to point out the importance and need for peace in times when Europe and many countries of the world are affected by war. And right here at the end of that long journey through 3 states, we have a significant and unique opportunity to plant the 29th Tree of Peace in this important place on the International Day of Peace. What a great honour for Servare et Manere!” said Dr. Marek Sobola, Secretary-General of Servare et Manere, in his speech.
The Tree of Peace in the Carol I Park was planted by children whose parents died in foreign war missions of the Armed Forces of Romania. Their participation was a gesture of hope for a better future in peace. The Tree of Peace – northern red oak (Quercus rubra) – comes from Slovakia and “traveled” with the relay during its entire duration. After the planting Major General Cristian-Daniel Dan presented Marek Sobola with an honorary plaque of the Land Forces of Romania as a token of gratitude for his constant support for peace. Then Marek Sobola on behalf Servare et Manere awarded Major Gabriel Ion with the Memorial Medal of Tree of Peace, high award of the association, for his significant contribution to friendship between nations and to peace at the international level through sports, as well as for organizing the entire Tree of Peace Cycling Relay. All the cyclists received Honourable Mentions Servare et Manere for their endurance and courage in participating in this challenging journey. The Peace Tree is an international project that concretizes the promotion of friendship and understanding between nations with the aim of uniting people from all over the world. The project commemorates not only the victims of ordinary soldiers, but also the victims of natural disasters.
The planting event was reported by several Romanian media, including the News Agency of the Romanian Orthodox Church. The Defence Staff of the Romanian Armed Forces as well as the Romanian Royal Family also informed about Cycling Relay and the Tree of Peace planting.