At the ceremony held in Kapisztrán tér in Buda Castle – where 102 students took their officer’s oaths before a replica of the Holy Crown and the historical flags – the Prime Minister said the future awaiting uniformed officers does not promise to be simple; strange and shocking events are happening around the world. The health care systems of well-off countries crumbled within just a few days, rich countries are on a downward slope heading for financial ruin, and an unprecedented wave of violence is scorching through big cities.
Armed organisations are being humiliated in the streets and also in politics, the guards of public order are being branded as racist, respect for uniformed officers is being torn down along with statues adorning public spaces, and “the state and the law are retreating from the streets,” Mr Orbán said.
He stressed at the same time that Hungary is not such a country, and will never be. Hungary’s finances are in order, its economy is healthy, the people can and want to work, while our growth reserves are high. “We Hungarians are black-belt crisis managers,” and “you can rest assured that we will never abandon our uniformed officers” who deserve respect, appreciation and support because “you risk your lives for our security and the peace of our homes,” the Prime Minister underlined before the students.
The Prime Minister also said in Hungary every life matters. “We like a world where there is order, where common sense rules, where the law protects the innocent, not criminals, where we can protect ourselves from migration, where resources are invested in the future of families and children,” he stated, pointing out that the maintenance of such a world – so that Hungary can remain an island of peace and security also during the present chaotic times – will require the commitment, brave conduct and honest work of those now taking their oaths.
He reassured them that during every minute of their service they will feel that “Hungary is behind you”.
Mr Orbán also spoke about the importance of patriotism, pointing out that it is symbolic that the ceremony was being held in Buda Castle, at the centre, “at the core of the heart” of the thousand-year-old Hungarian State. “Legality, law and order are at the core of our country’s heart,” he stressed, describing these as the greatest godsends of Hungarian culture because it is from these that a safe, secure, peaceful and free life stems.
“Everyday patriotism” is the daily sensation that the country in which one lives is one’s homeland of which there is only one. If that one is lost, one can only continue one’s life in a place which belongs to someone else, and where “we can only be tolerated, accepted at best,” he argued.
“Therefore, we are ready to preserve it from generation to generation, to fight for it if needs be because this is the most valuable gift we can give our children,” the Prime Minister said, adding that the sensation of patriotism “entwines us into a common fate” which is splendid and exceptional, one that is “ours alone, and whose greatness we all share”.
He highlighted in continuation that this feeling is especially strong in the Hungarian people, and without it we would hardly have been able to preserve the country for as long as we have. “Only the Hungarian language is capable of concentrating the country, the people, one’s native land and home into a single word as the word ‘haza’ does,” he pointed out.
He added at the same time that if the students now taking their oaths want to become good police officers, firefighters and disaster management officers, in addition to patriotism, they will also need self-esteem.
In addition to the Prime Minister, the ceremony was also attended by Interior Minister Sándor Pintér, Defence Minister Tibor Benkő and the chiefs of staff.
Seventy graduates of the University’s Faculty of Law Enforcement will start service at the police, eleven at the disaster management authority and twenty-one in the prison service.
The press release distributed at the ceremony highlights that the coronavirus epidemic also introduced a number of new challenges into the lives of the graduating officer candidates. In addition to switching to distance education, they were also required to fulfil service obligations; for two and a half months, they carried out law enforcement duties arising from the state of danger.
The students now graduating are the first year of students in undergraduate training who started their studies in 2017 at the Ludovika Campus. It was also in 2017 that a changeover started from three-year training to a four-year officer training programme. Due to this, there are no customs officers graduating from the university this year for service at the National Tax and Customs Administration.