20th August 2012

Ceremonial speech by President János Áder

Distinguished Officers and Officer Cadets,

It was a great honour for me to have witnessed your oath.

Hungary is proud of you and expects you to be worthy of the Hungarian military when you perform your mission in protecting our country and in delivering our Allied obligations. I hope that you will be able to serve our country and protect our constitutional values in accordance with your oath. I congratulate you on your performance so far, by virtue of which you have been granted the chance to be sworn in, in front of the entire country.

My distinguished countrymen,
Celebrating Hungarians,

Celebrations are never about the speeches, nor are they about the speakers. Celebrations are about the subject of the celebration and about those celebrating. August 20th is about the founder of our Hungarian state and about us Hungarians. About our political nation, about everything that binds us together, and about everything that would be worth discussing from time to time with each other.

There are many interpretations of Hungarian history. What this tells me first and foremost is that we have only ever been able to lift our country, when we succeeded in lifting our souls. When we were able to make use of our opportunities, understanding that the gate of opportunities will only open to those, who set out with visionary plans, courageous and wise action to realize their own dreams themselves.

Saint Stephen and the Hungarians of his time also became great because they managed to make use of the opportunities that presented themselves.
The opportunity, the chance to create a state was open to other peoples also.

Those who did not exploit this opportunity were mostly wiped away by history. It fills us with quite some pride that we Hungarians belong among the state constituting nations that have managed to survive.

The foundation of the Hungarian state however did not end with the deeds of St. Stephen. Quite the contrary. The state of St. Stephen brought about a new era.

The more than one thousand years we have behind us are also testament to the fact that we Hungarian have managed “amidst all the adversity and after all the strife” to always preserve our faith in the future, our creative spirit and love for life. What is even more important is that from generation to generation, we have managed to preserve our capability to lift our souls and recreate again our state from nothing.

So, when we pay respect to the deeds of our first king, we are not simply remembering the historic deeds of our Saint Stephen, but also all those, who during the past one thousand years – defying the overwhelming enemy, drawing from the valiant examples of our predecessors and despite the painful losses – have also recreated the Hungarian state in seemingly hopeless situations.

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