-text and photos Andrei Dorian Gheorghe;
design Florin-Alexandru Stancu-

In the summer of 2012 I made the plan to photographically compare
the sunrises during autumn equinox day 2012 and spring equinox day 2013.
But on 22 September 2012 I could see only the evolution of a fight
between Sun and clouds.

Later in that day, as a modest compensation,
the opposite sunset romantically colored the same zone of Bucharest...

Then, short before the spring equinox of 2013
I had a dream in which I was visited by the muse of astronomy,

"Tell me a honorable thing you made between the two equinoxes,"
she said to me
"and maybe you'll have a clear sky in 20 March 2013."

After a few moments
I chose to tell her the following happening.

In 26 September 2012 I climbed the "Spirii" Hill
to meditate on the Romanian firemen-heroes in the Revolution of 1848.
But I temporarily abandoned my plan because right vis-à-vis to their monument
a special vision stole me.

A small church with sun crosses and mild artistic stars as a religious sanctuary
in the same perspective
with the largest civil-administrative building in the world,
initially imagined as a triumph of dictatorial atheism,
but built by Christians and becoming after the collapse of communism
the national democratic parliament.

A flood of questions assaulted me:

Atheism? Religion?
Atheist religion?

Inquisition? Communism?
Humanist atheism?
Freedom of belief?
Freedom of creation?

Evolutionism? Creationism?
Creationist evolutionism?
Evolutionist creationism?

Astronomy versus religion?
Astronomy along with religion?

The Moon appeared as a referee
who knew more
and tried to encourage me through telepathic impulses:

Keep searching the Universe
And be free
To look for answers
Only in harmony.

In the morning of 10 October 2012
I thought I found out an answer for all those questions.
Just... PEOPLE!

Then Venus,
followed by a spectacular sunrise which seemed to burn the sky,
made me think again of the Romanian firemen-heroes of 1848.

So that in 17 October 2012
at the foot of the "Spirii" Hill
I wrote a few lines (which are not random, as you will see soon)
in their memory:

They fought and died for liberty
and dignity
in their country
and particularly
for you and me
to respect, love, make and see
the beauty of astronomy!

But only in 3 March 2013 I could go again to the "Spirii" Hill
for a real meditation near their monument, inaugurated in 1901.

Using the most interesting source,
written by one of the participants at those incredible events,
Dimitrie Papazoglu,
in his "History of the Foundation of the City of Bucharest",
we can imagine an Ottoman army of 9000 people, led by Kerim Pasha,
gravitating around the Bucharest garrison and watching over a city
fevered by the ideals of the European Revolution.
It was in 13 Sptember 1848...

Suddenly a Romanian company of 166 firemen,
led by Captain Pavel Zaganescu,
appeared on the same road.
A scrimmage between the two unequal groups started
when they tried to pass one besides the other.
Then the Romanians demonstrated a crazy bravery
(ancestrally enlivened by 450 years of Ottoman mixtures
in the Romanian rules),
breaking the enemies' rows,
piercing the Ottoman army and arriving in the garrison.
From now on, the Romanians (firemen and soldiers
led by Colonel Radu Golescu and Major Nicolae Greceanu)
confronted the Ottomans for almost three hours
(totally, about 500 Romanians and 9000 Ottomans were involved),
till the battle was decided by the superiority of the
Ottomans' number and cannons,
although the Romanians had only 105 victims (48 deads),
while the number of the Ottoman victims was more than triple.

The Romanian firemen's heroism inspired later the Romanian soldiers
who fought for (and obtained) the total independence of their country
during the Ottoman vs. Russian + Romanian war in 1877-1878.
Just like Leonidas and his 300 Spartans had inspired,
through their heroism at Thermopylae,
the Greeks for a future victorious alliance against the Persians
in the 5th century BC.

It is quite astonishing that after over one century
the family of the brave Captain Fireman Pavel Zaganescu
gave an international expert in astronautics,
Professor-Doctor Florin Zaganescu,
also an academician, general, writer, professor,
one of the co-authors of the Multilingual Space Dictionary,
member of the International Academy of Astronautics
and honorary member of the Romanian National Committee for Astronomy.

But I cannot end this story without recalling the sentinel
who guarded the Bucharest garrison during and even after the battle in the Spirii Hill,
till he was shot by the Ottomans.

"This faithful sentinel"
said Papazoglu in his book
"will receive the crown of the heavens."

"Your story has moved me to tears,"
concluded Urania
"so watch the sunrise in the spring equinox day.
This time you may be lucky!"


© 2013 SARM
(Romanian Society for Meteors and Astronomy)