When a stranger looks at the life of Sándor Petőfi, who was born 200 years ago, he can hardly believe what he sees, PM Orbán began his speech commemorating the 1848-49 Revolution and War of Independence.
“He unleashed a revolution that brought freedom to his country. He became a soldier in the War of Independence, and at the age of 26, he fell at the hands of the occupying troops," the prime minister said, summing up the life of the famous poet.
"He fulfilled his own wish, written in verse, to die not in bed, between pillows, but on the battlefield of freedom," he said. According to PM Orbán, Petőfi left this earthly world by stepping into the world of legends.
PM Orbán said that a foreigner would describe Petőfi's life as a mystery, and an American film director even spoke about the “Petőfi mystery.”
However, the prime minister said, "We Hungarians see no mystery here. Let us call it Hungarian destiny.”
PM Orbán said that it is difficult for non-Hungarians to understand why we are retelling the story of March 15, 175 years ago. "They don't understand why we don't get tired of it," he added. As the prime minister said, we are not and will not get bored of it because it is a great common birthday for our nation. And it's a time for the family to come together, he said.
According to the prime minister, when two Hungarians meet, there is a good chance that within minutes they will be at odds with each other. "However, the one thing they will agree on is that Sándor Petőfi is the greatest Hungarian poet," he noted.
"He only lived 26 years, and only five of those years were given to real work. He wrote poetry the way we mere mortals breathe. He translated, wrote, edited — over just five years. And yet Petőfi's oeuvre was rendered complete," PM Orbán said. According to him, his life's work was made complete by the fact that he paid to his country what he had undertaken to do in his poems.
According to the prime minister, this is why we envy Petőfi. Because we all want to leave this world having fulfilled our duties. PM Orbán said that the great march for Hungarian freedom is still going on today.
"Petőfi is with us in this procession. We see him rebelling when foreigners want to tell Hungarians how to live. We see him confronting the powers of the world, who want to reintegrate the Hungarians into a European superstate. We owe him,” he added.
"Therefore, we will never allow the flag of freedom to be wrenched from the hands of Hungarians. We will not let it and they will not succeed, because every Hungarian has a little Petőfi in him," the prime minister concluded.