At the inauguration of the National Cohesion Memorial on Thursday, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said one hundred years after Hungary’s defeat in the first world war and the post-war Trianon Peace Treaty, “we Hungarians stand on the stage of European history as the champions of survival”.
“There is no other nation in the world that would have survived a century like this,” PM Orbán said at the memorial at Budapest’s Kossuth Square before a class of graduate military officers on the national holiday celebrating St. Stephen, Hungary’s first Christian king.
Hungary’s reckoning over the Trianon Treaty on the centenary of its signing this past June has allowed the nation to declare an end to “the era of Hungary’s hundred years of solitude”, the prime minister said.
After the collapse of Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union, Hungary became the largest economy and most populous state in the Carpathian Basin, he said, adding that “this comes with responsibilities that we can’t shy away from”.
Read the prime minister's speech here.
Meanwhile, at a swearing-in ceremony of officers marking the August 20 national holiday in front of the parliament building, President János Áder said that "difficult months lie ahead of us, but whatever trials await us, we must enrich, build and serve eternal Hungary.”
President Áder stressed that this August 20 holiday is different from those before as “we are filled with concern and uncertainty”.
“Just as was our Easter holiday this year, today’s holiday also requires self-discipline amidst restrictions,” he added.
“A holiday such as this, stripped of its usual adornments can make us aware of how eternal Hungary, established by St. Stephen, was built and — in spite of difficulties — continues to be built today, too,” President Áder said.
In times like these, the president said the work of those who serve the common good becomes more apparent: the perseverance of doctors, nurses and caregivers; the patience of teachers, instructors and educators; the discipline of soldiers, the police and the border patrol.