The Mayor of Madrid, Alberto Ruíz Gallardón, has issued his third proclamation in these eight years at the head of the Madrid City Council, this time it is addressed to all Madrilenians on the occasion of the upcoming celebration for World Youth Day (WYD), to be held in the Spanish capital from August 16 to 21, 2011. The Mayor’s previous proclamations were issued in connection with the attacks of March 11, 2004 and the celebration of the royal wedding of the Prince and Princess of Asturias.
In this document, he has encouraged all citizens of the Spanish capital to present the Pope and young people from around the world with, "a young, close, and friendly city."
Ruíz Gallardón stressed that “Madrid wants to carry out its role as host of this event, putting our best foot forward as token of our gratitude for their confidence in our ability to serve as a genuine meeting place.”
Thus, he has expressed his hope that “our guests’ stay will constitute a pleasant and enriching experience for them and for us, so that, once these days of celebration have come to a close and they return to their homes, they can speak of this city as synonym with warmth and hospitality."
The city mayor, who has highlighted World Youth Day as “an event of global impact," added: "We feel a part of the excitement of those who will come to share their deepest yearnings with us over the course of these days.”
In regards to those attending WYD, he stressed that “youth are always a sign of a fresh start, which is what each generation brings with it when it comes time to tackling its own challenges.” Thus, he expressed his satisfaction at "knowing that we are a part of this exciting task of ongoing renewal, which feeds on the enthusiasm, the experience of discovery, and the nobility of feelings which are so characteristic of the youth."
In light of all this, the mayor mentioned that on the occasion of World Youth Day, "we will open, therefore, our doors wide to the Pope and to the young people who will gather here."
After a reading of the proclamation, the mayor and city administration joined the Cardinal Archbishop of Madrid, Antonio Maria Rouco Varela, in presiding a presentation of certificates to volunteers who have participated in courses in security and first aid given by SAMUR Civil Protection in the last year.
The mayor expressed his hope that Madrid may be "the best place to celebrate World Youth Day, thanks to the professionalism and generosity of its volunteers."
Ana Botella, Deputy Mayor and Environmental Councilor for the City of Madrid, showed that "Madrid is a city that hosts more than 4,600 public events a year, but WYD far exceeds the events held in our city," which is why she pointed out that “nothing can replace citizen cooperation, which is essential to making this event a success."
Volunteer training began in September 2010 and over 10,000 people have taken part in the courses offered.