The national flag of Hungary was hoisted and lowered to half-mast in front of Parliament on Saturday morning in a military salute to commemorate the leaders of Hungary’s revolution and freedom fight who were executed by Austria in 1849.
October 6 was declared a national day of mourning in 2001.
State commemorations on the square before Parliament were attended by Hungary’s President János Áder.
Later in the day, Áder attended a commemoration in Kemecse, northeast Hungary, and said that the example and faithfulness of the heroes of the 1848/49 revolution and freedom fight had strengthened in later generations of Hungarians the conviction that “freedom is an irreplaceable value that we must never give up”.
Speaking at the grave of General Mihály Répásy, the president said the desire for freedom Hungarians had in 1848/49 “was built on such a strong foundation in the soul, thoughts and values of Hungarians that it could no longer be destroyed by any of the subsequent periods”.
Attending a commemoration in Arad, Romania, foreign ministry state secretary Tamás Vargha spoke of Hungarians’ eternal desire for freedom and independence.
“This is a shared heritage of several generations, which we must not squander either,” the state secretary said, adding that Hungarians must always remain faithful to the ideals, struggles and sacrifice of their predecessors of 1848 and preserve their hard-won freedom.
Hunor Kelemen, chairman of the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (RMDSZ), said it was not enough to win freedom once. “It must be preserved, taken care of, defended again and again, shared with others, and we must be able to recognize where the boundary is where freedom, total freedom and limitless freedom begin to limit the freedom of others,” he said.