Ever since they were formed, the Hungarian Defence Forces have been made great by those serving with them – those who fill the field manuals with meaning, who command and execute the orders, not trying to find excuses, but undertaking the service – Minister of Defence Csaba Hende said on Tuesday, May 20 in Budapest.

On the occasion of the Day of the Hungarian Defence Forces, the Ministry of Defence held its central ceremony in Stefánia Palace, Budapest on Tuesday morning.  As the Minister of Defence said in his speech delivered during the ceremony, May 21 is the day of those who dedicated themselves to this kind of life in their oath, and of all of us “who did not put on the uniform yet chose to be your companions”.

(photo: Tünde Rácz)

Minister Hende reminded his audience that the name “honvéd” (homeguard, Hungarian soldier) was born in a great moment of Hungarian history. Back in 1848, when the nation was born and “stood together as one body in freedom”, the newborn military took an oath to defend order, the homeland and freedom, to serve the Hungarian nation, to secure Hungary’s borders, to safeguard every citizen’s property and life, as well as to protect all those common rights which the revolution and war of independence wanted to establish.

(photo: Tünde Rácz)

“The Day of the Hungarian Defence Forces reminds us that, due to the enthusiasm and professionalism of those serving with it, the “honvéd” army – which was raised in a couple of months with the Hungarian war industry behind it, also created from nothing – was able to gain the upper hand against one of the best armies in the world, and to fly the Hungarian Tricolor on Buda Castle. On May 21, 1849 at dawn, the Hungarian boys did not care about the angry, desperate firing of the enemy, they broke into the castle with unsurpassed bravery, and neither the defender’s persistence nor the gunfire was able to deter them. Their one and only objective in view was to recapture what the Hungarian nation owns” – the Minister of Defence recalled the glorious victory. Today we remember the achievement and sacrifice of these known and unknown heroes, who showed us how to love and serve the country, and how to work for success with commitment. Although they could not win the war of independence, their service under the Hungarian Tricolor made the meaning of this flag – freedom and belonging – valuable for a whole nation. Inspired by the example of the Hungarian soldiers of 1848, our soldiers served through both world wars and then through the 1956 Revolution and War of Independence as well. Their determination is a model for all Hungarian soldiers forever.

Minister Hende pointed out that ever since they were formed, the Hungarian Defence Forces have been made great by those serving with them. Those who fill the field manuals with meaning, who command and execute the orders, not trying to find excuses but undertaking the service. Honvéds (homeguards) are those soldiers who serve for the Hungarian nation – soldiers, who perform their duties in peacetime and in live situations every day, preserve what they are entrusted with, are faithful in things small and great alike, and feel the importance of obligation that comradeship entails. Accordingly, they take care of those who they are in charge of, and obey their superiors readily and willingly in the interest of a sacred goal, the defence of the nation and the homeland. “Thank you for going on this road, for your committed service, and for this reason, I am now holding you up as an example to all” – the Minister said. Csaba Hende also thanked the civilians serving the defence of the homeland in the system of national defence for their efforts, as they understand and feel the significance of this great mission and have committed themselves to the service of this cause.     

Eventually, the Hungarian Defence Forces were not alerted to join the flood control efforts over the recent days, but the Minister drew attention to the fact that this has been another warning, to the effect that they must be ready for everything at all times. Speaking about the tasks for the next period, Minister Hende highlighted the deserved participation in the V4 Battle Group, noting that the government has made a decision about the further development of the Gripen capability too. This means that, in addition to the defence budget, the Ministry of Defence can allocate close to HUF 3 billion to developing the close air support (CAS) capability of these aircraft. The Minister of Defence said that the holidays provide us with a good opportunity to realize that however hard our duty may be, we are not alone. “We are performing our mission together with great men and excellent comrades, and we will always have a mission as long as the nation lives and as long as freedom needs to be protected. Let us be worthy of those going before us, of each other and of our mission, the service of the nation” – Minister Hende closed his speech.

The ceremony continued with presenting awards on the occasion of the Day of the Hungarian Defence Forces.