The Prime Minister said that a nation of fifteen million very carefully keeps account of what it has given the world, as “we ourselves keep account of each and every Hungarian who has made us proud”. They are the ones “who with their legendary careers can serve as role models for more and more generations of Hungarians to grow up with a healthy feeling of self-respect and vitality”.
The Prime Minister said that throughout “forty years of communism” the success stories of Hungary’s American heroes helped the country with inspiration and encouragement, in showing Hungarians what they are capable of when they can display their talents in a free world.
Mr. Orbán said that Mr. Udvar-Hazy fell in love with aviation at an air display in Hungary in the nineteen-fifties, he recognised his talent in this field, and made every effort to make it blossom.
Hungarians should be grateful to be able to claim this special career as their own, and be able to record it among their own stories, the Prime Minister said.
In his acceptance speech Mr. Udvar-Hazy said that his love of aviation and the freedom it represents took him to America, but to this day he loves Hungary, and is grateful for the opportunities he received there.
On 12 February President of Hungary János Áder awarded the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of Hungary to Steven F. Udvar-Hazy, thereby recognising – as stated in his decision – Mr. Udvar-Hazy’s diverse and generous support activities utilising his achievements in the aerospace industry and promoting wide-ranging knowledge of aviation and space exploration, and his exemplary life, which has enhanced Hungary’s reputation.