Addressing a swearing-in ceremony of new officers on Hungary’s August 20 national holiday, Defence Minister Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky emphasised the importance of the officer corps of the Hungarian Armed Forces regaining its prestige.
Hungarian soldiers should be respected, the minister told the new officers, adding that they were starting their service in “troubled and historic times”.
“We are witnesses to the mass migration subverting European culture and there is a drawn-out merciless and brutal war going on not far from our borders, which has caused a global economic crisis,” Szalay-Bobrovniczky said. World powers are in conflict “and everyone will want to rely on the strength of their weapons for negotiation”, he added. “In other words, there is a new world order taking shape before our very eyes.”
The Hungarian government’s goal is to prepare its military for these changes, the minister said.
The military’s procurement of the most up-to-date weapons systems, the upgrade of individual combat equipment, the introduction of the military career model and the new training model and the billions of forints spent on the military is proof that the Hungarian Armed Forces is on a path of development, Szalay-Bobrovniczky said.
The minister called on the new officers to embody virtues such as courage, honour, obedience, loyalty, discipline, comradery and self-sacrifice. He thanked the officers for deciding to serve their country, saying that “the homeland only exists as long as there are people to defend it.”
‘Remembrance strengthens covenant with our ancestors’
“Remembrance is a way of strengthening our covenant with our ancestors,” Gergely Gulyás, the prime minister’s chief of staff, said in a speech marking the August 20 national holiday, commemorating the founding of the state of Hungary. “If we recognise that we are heirs and we have something to carry on, we will be able to discover the experiences of this millennium and all that is important to save for the future,” Gulyás said in Nagykanizsa, in southwestern Hungary, on Saturday.
Saint Stephen founded a state and built a country in turbulent and controversial times “which has stood the test of time”, Gulyás said. His laws form the basis of Hungary’s constitution and the county system he founded has always served local communities according to the spirit of the times, he said.
Gulyás highlighted Saint Stephen’s role in organising Hungary’s dioceses, building its churches and converting the country to Christianity. “We have him to thank for Hungary’s role in the creation of Christian Europe, which the country has been a part of for a millennium.” he said.
“When we come together to remember the founding of the country, Saint Stephen’s legacy means that we still belong together today and that this country is home to everyone who inherited it from their parents or chose it themselves,” Gulyás said.
Over the past millennium, Hungary was strong enough to survive occupations by Mongols, Turks and Soviets, the times when the fate of the country was determined elsewhere, as well as the Trianon Peace Treaty, he said. “Therefore we have good reason to hope that we will also overcome the hurdles presented by the difficulties of the present,” he added.
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