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We, Hungarians Want Peace!

Text: defence.hu / MTI | Photo: Sztaniszláv Horváth |  17:25 May 30, 2024

We are indebted to heroes, but this debt should not be paid for mainly by memorials but by protecting what they gave their lives for; a free Hungary deciding its own fate – said Defence Minister Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky at the heroes’ plot 52 of the Fiumei Road Cemetery, Budapest on Sunday, 26 May.


At the commemoration held to mark the Memorial Day of Hungarian Heroes, the minister said, “we owe every Hungarian that much that we do not take them into useless, avoidable wars waged for other people’s interests”. He added, “we owe every Hungarian – those who lived before us and who will follow us – that much that we preserve and protect ourselves”.

Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky recalled that it was in hard times of war when Baron Ferenc Abele, Colonel of the General Staff, wrote his letter to Count István Tisza in 1915. He wanted to ask the nation to pay tribute to the soldiers killed in action in defence of the homeland, and the people understood his intentions, they erected the heroes’ memorials from public donations. People knew that the memorials were theirs, the names of their family members, family relations, friends, acquaintances and neighbours were on them – said the minister. He also added that this bond, the bond of commemoration, was among the strongest cohesive forces in Hungary between the two world wars.

He noted that the communist dictatorship devaluated World War I and the sacrifices for the country; an important symbol of the change of regime was the renewal of memorials, which could have the names of World War II heroes and victims engraved on them. The enactment of the Memorial Day of Hungarian Heroes at the millennium meant that the country remembers its heroes again and values again the route of a thousand years that our soldiers have followed to protect the homeland – said the defence minister.


He underlined that we are indebted to heroes, without them, we would not be here today and those who have a past, have a present above all; “they know who they are, where they came from and what they should do in the world”. “Those who are not interested in the past, who leave behind the past forever and move into a better future that never arrives, while making the present like hell, do not understand because they do not want to understand that we belong together. However, this country also gives them a home because it exists. It exists because there were people who were willing to fight for it for 1100 years” – added Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky.

According to the minister, it is clearly visible by browsing through the history of the 20th century that “those politicians who are dumb enough to dream about war and not willing to listen to the sane voice of civilians and soldiers, never make good decisions”. We tell them from here, beside the tomb of heroes who died for the homeland that we, Hungarians do not want war, we want peace, we do not want dead heroes but men, husbands and fathers alive. Decisions about Hungary can be made only in Hungary, only we, Hungarians can decide the matters of war and peace, he said. Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky asked us to “promise again that Hungarians will never go to war again for foreign interests”.


He also mentioned that the Hungarian Defence Forces are being built up with high-tech equipment and professionally trained soldiers on a voluntary basis. He declared that Europe is living in hard times of war again. “Two years ago, nobody knew the true face of war in Europe. We face unprecedented, more and more serious threats; a third world war has also come within sight. Sanity, a sense of proportion and reflection on economic and military aspects are equally needed to avoid war, just as bravery. We need military strength, which we have to use as a means of stability and security while cooperating with our allies.” At the ceremony, state, local governmental and non-governmental organizations placed the flowers of remembrance.

On 19 June 2001the National Assembly enacted a law on the Memorial Day of Hungarian Heroes to honour the memory of Hungarian heroes. According to this law, the last Sunday of May each year is marked to commemorate “the Hungarian heroes of the past millennium”, who gave their lives for the homeland.