During his speech delivered on the Memorial Day of Hungarian Heroes, István Simicskó, minister of defense, stated that “our heroes give us courage to meet the challenges of today’s world and the future”.
Minister Simicskó noted that there are more than 200 states in the world today, but only a few of them have millennial statehood. He went on saying that the Hungarian people living in the Carpathian Basin have had to fight continually for their freedom and independence, and these fights often resulted in failures and sacrifice of lives.
The minister added that the more than 1,000 years of Hungary’s statehood prove that “our heroes’ sacrifice was not in vain”.
He reminded the gathered crowd that the origin of the heroes’ memorial day goes back to the First World War.
It was General Staff Maj. Ferenc Abele who first proposed that on the last Sunday of May every year, we commemorate our heroes who defended Hungary and were killed in action, because they deserve that all generations of Hungarians remember them.
In connection with this, István Simicskó also noted that one measure of every community is the condition of its heroes’ graves and its military memorial sites. He said that there are such memorial sites at 2,668 settlements in Hungary, and all of them will be restored.
The minister of defense said that in order to protect Hungarians, the soldiers of the Hungarian Defense Force were present during floods and the red sludge disaster, and today they are also present to protect Hungary against 21st century mass migration.
The minister stated that the members of the Hungarian Defense Forces are well-trained, determined and ready to safeguard Hungary and the Hungarian people against contemporary challenges as well.
Simicskó also stated that patriotism is essential for the defense of every country, and that “those fighting with all their hearts are invincible”.
During the ceremony, held in Heroes’ Square, Simicskó laid a wreath at the Heroes’ memorial stone on behalf of the government.
The Memorial Day of Hungarian Heroes dates back to a law enacted in 1917. Until 1944, a whole series of memorial events was organized every year. The heroes’ day was observed in 1945, but from 1946 onwards, there were no more official commemorations.
Act 63/2001 on keeping the Hungarian heroes’ memory alive and reinstating the Memorial Day of Hungarian Heroes redeclared the last Sunday of May every year to be the Memorial Day of Hungarian Heroes.