Hungary’s national flag was hoisted then lowered to half-mast in front of Parliament on Friday as a tribute to the leaders of the country’s anti-Habsburg revolution and war of independence who were executed on this day in 1849. The ceremony was attended by Justice Minister Bence Tuzson and other government officials.
6 October has been observed as a national day of mourning since 2001 in memory of 13 high-ranking officers of the Hungarian army who were executed in Arad, now in Romania, and count Lajos Batthyány, prime minister of the revolutionary government, executed in Pest on the same day.
Commemorations will continue at Budapest’s Fiumei Street Cemetery, where Batthyány was laid to rest. On the occasion of the anniversary, Budapest Mayor Gergely Karácsony wrote on Facebook: ‘After 174 years we have not forgotten what we must do for a free Hungary’. The martyrdom of those heroes ‘teaches us that the homeland comes before everything else…national interests come before particular interests, and serving the homeland comes before individual ambitions,’ the mayor said.
Karácsony also declared that ‘love for the country can take many forms: you can do it noisily, and you can do it with the modesty of a deeper conviction…those who talk a lot about patriotism will achieve little for the homeland.’
Zsolt Molnár, party director of the opposition Socialists, attending a commemoration in Arad, said: ‘We can never give up our fight for an independent, strong, European Hungary.’ Speaking at the martyrs’ local monument, he said October 6 ‘should not only be a day of remembrance; we must also think about independence and European values.’ ‘This day is not only about mourning but also about making a commitment for the future.’ History, he added, had taught Hungarians ‘to be a proud NATO and European Union member, a task for all patriotic politicians’.
Sources: Hungarian Conservative/MTI