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Romania honors its military with Army Day

A couple kiss after the swearing in ceremony for the military students in Bucharest, Romania, Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2017, as the Romanian Army celebrates Army Day with parades in honor of the country’s military men and women.

VADIM GHIRDA/AP

By ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: October 28, 2017

BUCHAREST, Romania — Romanian military personnel have celebrated Army Day with parades, but also lighter moments, in honor of the country's military men and women.

Servicemembers in uniform gathered in Carol Park in the capital of Bucharest on Wednesday, where a trio of military jets flew over a war memorial on a clear, sunny day. The celebration was also a relaxed occasion: troops took selfies, embraced loved ones and clutched bouquets of flowers.

Some came with children, who under supervision played with unloaded rifles.

Others brought their parents.

This year marks 100 years since the battle of Marasesti, a key World War I battle when Romanian and Russian soldiers defeated German troops, halting a German offensive.

Romania has more than 620 troops now in Afghanistan, and 300 others are involved in NATO, EU, U.N. and OSCE missions elsewhere.

The country first celebrated Army Day in 1959.
 

A child holds his brother's weapon before the swearing in ceremony for the military students, in Bucharest, Romania, Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2017.
VADIM GHIRDA/AP