Dear fellow Moldovans,
Dear citizens of the Republic of Moldova from all corners of the world,
Today, in our homeland, we celebrate a special occasion - the National Day of our country, the Independence Day of the Republic of Moldova.
This is a holiday that unites us all and fills our hearts with joy because it is a day when we celebrate our freedom and dignity, a day when we honor our forefathers, and share the same sense of optimism and hope for the future of our country and our children.
It has been 32 years, a relatively short time from a historical perspective but a significant journey in the life story of our nation. During these 32 years, Moldovans have experienced moments of disappointment as well as moments filled with hope, periods of uncertainty, and times of trust.
However, we have always remained united to protect what we hold dearest - our families, our nation, and our freedom. The history of our country is one of resilience.
We all know the problems we face. We know that there are still many things to be done for Moldovans to live well. We understand that without justice we will get nowhere. There are still those who want to keep us tied to a past of disappointments, stuck in poverty. But I don't want to talk about them today.
I want to talk today about all those who make our country better, stronger, every day. I want to talk about peace, the most precious gift we can provide for our children: the ability to raise them in an environment of tranquility and harmony.
We managed to keep the peace at home. We do not start wars, we do not want wars on our soil or elsewhere.
This is the firm wish of the Moldovans and no one has the right to violate it. We chose peace and we will choose it for every family that suffered because of the war and for every child that is born in Moldova and deserves to have a clear sky above their head. We choose the European path because we choose peace.
In front of us is a road with challenges, we are aware of the efforts we must continue to make to become a strong country, we do not delude ourselves with false expectations.
We know where we still have a lot of work to do and can always find reasons to criticize our actions. And we do. And this is natural - because we want so much to do things even better, to improve the quality of life faster.
But today I don't want to turn our attention to the things we all know aren't going very well.
Today, I want each of us to search for reasons to take pride in Moldovans and Moldova. Today, let's celebrate our country and our people, for Moldova is best seen through their eyes.
Moldova is represented by the children who have won bronze, silver, and gold at international Olympiads in physics, chemistry, and mathematics.
It's embodied by the doctors who save lives through groundbreaking procedures performed for the first time in Moldova.
And by the individuals who return home after years of working abroad to establish businesses, guesthouses, and factories in their hometowns.
It's symbolized by athletes who proudly display our tricolor on world podiums at European and global championships.
And by villagers, both at home and in the diaspora, who come together to construct stadiums, playgrounds, or public lighting systems in their communities.
It means all those who work the land and carry the fame of our tasty produce - be it cherries, apples or plums - all over the world.
It includes the engineers who pioneered the first electric bus with dynamic charging. It encompasses all those who promote the breathtaking locales in Moldova. It acknowledges the dedicated policemen who, despite facing numerous challenges, maintain order at home. And the firefighters who help put out the fires.
It highlights a teacher in a remote village, instilling in children the belief that they can change the world. And a worker who puts his shoulder to the construction of a new road.
It represents Guguță's cheese pies and cakes that leave us craving for more. It embodies the traditional folk costume, the alita-adorned shirt, the soulful Doina, and the spirited Moldavan Joc.
It encompasses countless individuals we see receiving medals and accolades, but it also extends to those who quietly and honorably perform their duties, often unnoticed.
Moldova is seen in our eyes and grows in our hands. Let us be proud of the people who nurture Moldova.
During the Soviet era, celebrating our identity and cherishing our national values were forbidden. In the years of national revival - '89, '90, '91 - the Marias and Johns, the Helens and Tudors joined hands and demanded independence, the right to be heard, and the right to shape our destiny.
What our ancestors did back then has brought us here today, to the Great National Assembly Square, free to celebrate our heritage and independence.
Free to speak the Romanian language without being humiliated in our own home. Free to think and speak our minds openly. Free to travel to any corner of the world.
Free to criticize politicians when they make mistakes. Free to support ideas, individuals, and causes we believe in.
Our freedom also entails responsibility toward our own lives and the future of our children - we are free to choose whether to progress, face challenges with our heads held high, or remain stuck in the mire and do nothing.
What we do today will propel Moldova forward - into the European family, where our country will be free to shape its destiny and preserve its culture and traditions. Where it will be strong enough to provide a good life for its citizens.
For the first time in the past three decades, we not only harbor hope for a better future but also have the confidence that now we have the opportunity and the duty to lead Moldova into the European Union.
Where the peace and independence of our country will be safeguarded, where hardworking people will have the chance to live better, and where Moldova will be treated with respect and appreciation.
We can only succeed together, just as our parents won independence 32 years ago.
Moldova's future lies within the European Union - we all know it, and we understand that it's our opportunity to develop the country and provide our children with a future at home, close to their parents.
It means that the road from Călărași to Prague, from Cahul to Paris, should have no barriers. It means that the independence of the Republic of Moldova should be complete, protected, and respected. It means peace.
And it also means fulfilling the dreams of hundreds of thousands of Moldovans who expressed their desire in 1991 and in 2023, in the same Great National Assembly Square, united by the same national pride and connected by the same roots.
It takes an entire village to raise a child. It takes every individual to raise a country. Happy Birthday, Moldova!