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They were bound by their oath

"If you want peace, remember war!"

Text: Ministry of Defence | Photo: Gábor Kormány |  11:22 September 11, 2023

The courage and tough endurance of our soldiers of the past should be an example and a guideline in our world today," stated Minister of Defence Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky at the inauguration ceremony of the Hungarian memorial erected at the Monte Grappa military memorial site in Italy. Speaker of the Hungarian Parliament László Kövér, and Parliamentary State Secretary Tamás Vargha, Deputy Minister of Defence, also took part in the commemoration.


At the memorial site for the Italian soldiers fallen on the Alpine front of the First World War, and for those troops who fought under the flag of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, the Hungarian national flag now also commemorates the Hungarian soldiers who served and died in the armed forces of the Monarchy. At the ceremony, Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky reminded: the soldiers fighting on the Alpine front not only had to deal with the most modern military means of mass destruction of that time, but also with the difficulties presented by nature and the winter mountain conditions. Nevertheless, they stood their ground because they were bound to do so by "their oath, camaraderie, and the eternal military honour." Therefore, respect is deserved by all those who, regardless of their nationality, were called to the mountain by duty, added the minister.

He emphasized that the Italian front of the First World War is of particular importance to Hungarians. Isonzó, Doberdó, and other parts of the region were defended, often at the cost of huge losses, by infantry regiments with Hungarian personnel. However, the opposite sides could not prevent the two conflicting peoples from respecting each other's heroic stance. The Minister of Defence emphasized: "their sacrifice warns of the horrors of war, and also serves as a reminder of the eternal military virtues, which belong to the noblest traditions of all nations."


The joint commemoration also indicates that war will never again be waged between our countries, and we respect military heroes, regardless of the side they fought on – said Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky in conclusion of his speech. Speaker of Parliament László Kövér laid a wreath on behalf of the delegation of the Members of Parliament attending the commemoration, and paid his tribute at the grave that holds the remains of more than ten thousand soldiers of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy who had died on the Italian battlefield.

In his words in the book of remembrance, the Speaker of Parliament expressed his gratitude to "the noble Italian nation for graciously preserving the graves of our heroes and martyrs, and for being loyal to them even in times when a godless and inhuman dictatorship in Hungary – preparing for a new war – wanted to erase their memory." May this place be an eternal warning: nothing can be resolved by war. There are death and destruction in its wake. May the saying come true for us: "if you want peace, remember war!" said the Speaker of Hungarian Parliament. Guido Crosetto, Italian Minister of Defence, said at the event: this location is also special for the Italian people, and the day is a celebratory day not only for them since both Italians and Hungarians had fallen and found their final resting place in that region, and by now it has become a site of remembrance and friendship.