Born on 4th of July

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), January 25, 2008 | Go to article overview

Born on 4th of July


Byline: James Morrison, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Born on 4th of July

The new Romanian ambassador was born on the Fourth of July and always thought he was destined to travel to America.

However, as a child growing up in one of the most ruthless communist countries in Eastern Europe, Adrian Vierita worried his dream was just a fantasy.

"I remember my father told me that the communist system could not survive," the ambassador told Embassy Row yesterday, as he recounted a conversation when he was a teenager.

"He told me that freedom would come. I was contradicting him. I was young. I said if change comes when I am your age, it would be too late. He said, 'Son, it is never too late to have freedom.' "

Freedom came to Romania in December 1989 with the collapse of the dictatorship of Nicolae Ceausescu, who was convicted of genocide and executed on Christmas Day. Mr. Vierita was 27.

Eighteen years later, the 45-year-old diplomat celebrated Christmas in Washington with his wife, Codrina, and their younger daughter.

"Being born on the Fourth of July, I always thought it was a mark of destiny," Mr. Vierita said.

On Wednesday, he took his family to the White House to present his credentials to President Bush in an Oval Office ceremony.

"The meeting with President Bush was very warm. I was very honored, very proud," Mr. Vierita said. "I have a great responsibility here - for my country, for the people who trust me to represent them, but also to the United States and to the common commitments that we share."

Mr. Vierita also remembered the political dissidents killed for opposing communism.

"We owe something to those who died in those days," he said.

Mr. Vierita, who has held many foreign service posts since 1991, calls himself a different type of diplomat.

"I'm very cautious using the term, 'diplomat,' because I do not consider myself a diplomat in the ancient interpretation of the word," he said. …

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