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Péter Harrach, parliamentary leader of the co-ruling Christian Democrats, visited the graves of Hungarian soldiers that fell in the first world war and were buried in the Valea Uzului (Úzvölgye) military cemetery in Romania’s Harghita county. Harrach told MTI after the visit that it was important for members of the Hungarian parliament to mark National Cohesion Day “at places where there is a great need to express cohesion”. He quoted the constitution as saying that “the Hungarian nation is made up of an alliance between Hungarians of the past, present and future”.
“We bow our heads before the graves of an endangered Hungarian military cemetery and express at the same time that we are responsible for the whole nation, not only for the present, but for heroes of the past and for the future as well; this is a responsibility we have to pass on to the next generation,” he said.
Harrach told MTI that issues around the cemetery should be resolved through diplomacy and not in the public eye. He said that Hungary has asked for an explanation for developments in the cemetery and added that some of the issues were up to historians to resolve.
The Valea Uzului military cemetery is the largest WW1 memorial site in Romania’s Harghita county. However, the local council of the eastern Romanian town of Darmanesti, in Bacau County, has moved to establish a memorial site in the cemetery for Romanian soldiers who fell in the second world war. This has seen the erection of 52 concrete crosses and one large Orthodox cross in the fenced-off cemetery site holding the graves of some 600 soldiers of Austria-Hungary.
Meanwhile, the state secretary for Hungarian communities abroad, Árpád János Potápi, said the 99 years that have passed since the signing of the Trianon peace treaty was proof of the strong will of Hungarians to survive and keep their country alive. It was aimed at “destroying Hungary’s political system, as well as its economy, military and society”, he told public broadcaster M1. Later, speaking at a ceremony in front of Parliament, Potápi said the future of the Hungarian nation was “in the hands of Hungarian mothers and fathers” and thanked grandparents and parents who decided to raise their children and grandchildren to be Hungarians. “Those parents and grandparents have passed on not only their mother tongue, but the notion that we belong somewhere: to the global family of all Hungarians. On this day we are celebrating this outstanding unity,” he said.
Closing the commemoration, 5,000 children joined together from the Carpathian Basin to sing the Hungarian national anthem in Kossuth Square.
Hungary’s parliament declared June 4 the Day of National Cohesion in 2010.