Memorial Services / 15 March – We will never allow the flag of freedom to be torn from the hands of the Hungarians

15 March – We will never allow the flag of freedom to be torn from the hands of the Hungarians

We will never allow the flag of freedom to be torn from the hands of the Hungarians, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán stated on Wednesday in Kiskőrös. At a ceremony held on the anniversary of the 1848-1849 revolution and freedom fight in front of the house where Petőfi was born, the Prime Minister highlighted that the enormous march of Hungarian freedom – even if it sometimes lost its way and came to a dead end at times in the past two hundred years – was ongoing to this day.

Sándor Petőfi is here with us in this march today,

he said.

Mr Orbán said we can see him rebelling when strangers want to tell us Hungarians how to live. We can see him turning against the mighty of the world who again want to melt the Hungarians into a European superstate. We can see him scribbling before the 12 points ‘may there be peace,’ he said.

Sándor Petőfi is here with us in this march today,

he said.

Mr Orbán described the career of the poet Sándor Petőfi who was born 200 years ago as follows: “a flight path of 26 years in the Hungarian sky which starts from Hungary and terminates in a trail of stars.” A flash which his own nation, holding its breath, follows and admires, he added.

The Hungarians see Petőfi as one of us who rises above us, he underlined.

“Sándor Petőfi is our beloved son. From childhood, every Hungarian knows at least a line of verse by him. Therefore, there is no need to say it, we also know without words: in every Hungarian there is a little Petőfi and Petőfi encompasses the entire community of Hungarians,” he said.

He also highlighted that when Petőfi was born, the poet Kölcsey was in the process of finalising the National Anthem, and almost twenty-five years thereafter, in 1848, Hungary was no longer the same country, but a nation raising its head, straightening up, looking around in the world of European peoples with self-confidence.

He spoke about the results which the country achieved during that time, including that science was given a home in the form of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, railways were built and steam boats were commissioned on the Danube.

However, Petőfi gave the answer to the question of what gives finite life, the country a higher meaning: “On your feet, Magyar! Shall we be slaves or free? Long live the free and independent Hungary,” he stressed.

For 175 years Hungarians have been telling the story of 15 March again and again because it is a big collective birthday when the birth of Hungarian freedom is remembered, he said.

The sweeping march of Hungarian freedom started not from the Pilvax Café or the garden of the National Museum, but from Kiskőrös, the Prime Minister said, explaining the choice of the venue of the state commemoration.

The Prime Minister bowed before the memory of the Petrovics Family. Remembering the poet’s father, he said at the peak of his life, he had become a full member of the community of free Kiskun people, while Petőfi’s mother Mária Hrúz had brought the greatest Hungarian poet to this world as a Slovak woman.

He stated: the Hungarian people regard Petőfi as the greatest poet because he encompasses Hungarian fate and Hungarian genius all at once. Perhaps, this is so because freedom has its own world language, the Hungarian dialect of which was created by Sándor Petőfi, he said, adding that Hungarian is the most accomplished language of freedom because Petőfi’s language is understood everywhere in the world, his poems have been translated into more than two hundred languages.

Mr Orbán further said Petőfi was not made to be a soldier, and was also a difficult person.  Yet, people took him to their hearts. The Lord helped him, too, his talent did not turn into vanity, his self-confidence did not grow to hubris; he never left the spiritual force field of the Christian world and worked incessantly, the Prime Minister said.

He was only active as a poet for five years, yet, his life work is complete as “he paid the country in full for everything he pledged in his poems;” given that if we are content with less than what we could be, we are no longer worthy of ourselves, he added.

“We are not just anybody, we’re Hungarians, and to be born Hungarian imposes a duty: being worthy of our kind,” he said.

Petőfi wanted to be the free citizen of a free Hungary, he said, mentioning the poet’s merits. “We, his pale successors of today, take the view” that he would have deserved to die in bed, among pillows stacked high, but he decided otherwise; he died as he heralded in his poems, as an apostle of world freedom, in a battle fought for Hungarian freedom.

“In every Hungarian there is a little Petőfi. Long live freedom, long live the country! The Lord above us all, Hungary before everything else. Come on, Hungary, come on, Hungarians,” the Prime Minister said in conclusion.


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