President Janos Áder handed over Kossuth and Széchenyi state awards and the Hungarian Order of Merit in Parliament on the occasion of the March 15 national holiday commemorating the 1848-49 revolution and freedom fight.
“Today is about commemoration, pride and gratitude,” Áder said, referring to “patriotism, talent, perseverance, diligence, and the fulfillment of freedom”.
The outgoing president said that around the time of the newly elected Parliament in April, Lajos Kossuth had argued that Hungarians wanted freedom and peace but must undertake the dangerous risks and sacrifices to fight for these ideals. This undertaking was an “inexhaustible source” of strength to press on, he added.
By the autumn, he added,
Hungarians had to take up weapons to defend freedom and attempt to uphold the country’s constitution and laws.
After eighteen years of political unrest, the work to ensure prosperity, develop the economy and enact civil transformation, which had been interrupted by the war of independence, could continue by forging a compromise, Áder said. After 1867, Hungary could once again decide its own destiny. The compromise created the conditions for peaceful creative work, he added.
Addressing the laureates in the Dome Hall of Parliament, Áder said they had experienced a similar change after 1990, when freedom led to opportunities resulting from political peace, good governance, and economic development. Hungary’s freedom unleashed creative work, he said.
Personal freedom also brought about freedom for the community,
the president said, adding that the personal achievements of today’s awardees were the common treasures of the Hungarian people.