The "Monuments and Heroes - In Memory of the Great War. A Pilot Project (Ilfov County)" cultural project, co-financed by the National Cultural Fund Administration, seeks to honor and commemorate 100 years from Romania’s entrance (1916) into the First World War (1914-1918), concluded with the founding of Greater Romania. We have chosen representative institutions of Ilfov County as partners: The Ilfov County Culture Department, Buftea Mayor’s office, Mogoşoaia Brancovan Palaces Cultural Center, due to the project’s objectives to protect, maintain, and promote the commemorative sites.
The cultural project’s purpose is to inventory, protect and promote the memorial and commemorative heritage, a purpose that can be realized by two essential objectives:
•Continue the combined and sustained efforts of local and central authorities, local communities, specialists and the Ministry of Culture to apply practical solutions in order to preserve and revitalize the memorial heritage
•Raising awareness for the younger generations regarding the appreciation of the symbols and core value of this heritage, by getting to know impressive life stories concluded with the supreme sacrifice for Romania’s unification.
This project is a work tool, through the inventorying the memorial-funerary monuments, but it also brings life stories of some of the First World War heroes into the spotlight, and tries to implicate communities to value the fundamental landmarks of history. At the same time, this is a warning, coming from the National Institute of Heritage, about the possible loss of a significant part of Romania’s built heritage that is left in decay with, quite possibly, irreversible effects, due to the lack of financial resources, promotion, and of the neglect coming from local authorities and communities. As a result, the project boasts the complete inventory of monuments built in memory of the First World War heroes, 72 commemorative sites, of which 15 are already on the Historical Monuments List, and other 6 monuments are being proposed for inscription on the List.
The National Institute of Heritage attempts to enhance and bring back into the communities’ collective memory, these commemorative monuments holding material and memorial value, through the 20 presentation panels exhibition displaying the inventoried monuments, as well as photographs, letters and accounts from First World War Heroes. There are 26 commemorative sites presented, of which 9 are public art monuments.
The projects intends to reveal and value the intangible aspects of the heroes cult memory, which manifested constantly in honoring and commemorating the heroes, during the interwar period, by involving, financially and emotionally, the local communities, the royal family and the Romanian state.
And so, the Romanian state, took initiative by founding "the Society for the Burial Grounds of Heroes Fallen during the State and National Unification War 1916-1919" (1919) by the high patronage of Queen Maria, presided by the Patriarch, and it became "the Cult of Heroes" in 1927. In 1940 (two years after the Queen’s death) its name was changed to "The National Endowment Queen Maria for the Cult of Heroes" (it was disbanded in 1948). In 2004 the "National Office for the Heroes Cult" was founded.
At the request of Queen Maria, commemorative crosses were built to the heroes fallen in the line of duty during the First World War: the Caraiman Cross, the cross inside the "St. Varvara" church in Buftea city, the cross in the Buftea city center, the names of the ones who bravely died in the war, inscribed on the crosses.
On the cross in the Buftea city center, words of Queen Maria are written: "Do not shed tears, but honor your heroes so that their glory may pass untainted to the next generations".

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