On the occasion of the 79th anniversary of the end of the fighting on the European battlefields of World War II, the Municipality of Debrecen held a commemoration and wreath-laying ceremony on the 9th of  May 2024 at the monument to the heroic dead of World War II in Debrecen and the civilian victims of the century on Medgyessy promenade.

Deputy Mayor István Puskás began his speech by recalling a personal memory from that day. He said that a member of his family was born on this day in 1945. It seemed to be a sign that the threat of war was over and that new life could be born into this world. Although, of course, for many at the time it was a day of mourning and loss, for them it was a day of celebration of the beginning of new life. True, his grandfather, for example, was still a prisoner of war at the time, but he was one of the lucky ones who were able to return to his family a few months later. In this way, a very personal family story can also carry a symbolic message, and the 9th of May was a day of mourning for loss, but also of liberation from grief and the beginning of a new life. 

“We know well from the history books that a symbolic date may not necessarily coincide with the real historical facts, since on paper the Second World War ended two days earlier, on the 7th of May, in Europe,  that’s when the German army, General Jodl capitulated to Eisenhower in France. We also know that the Soviet Union celebrated the end of the Second World War on the 8th of May, but the last hostilities in Europe actually ended on the 9th of May, the Red Army entered Prague on the 9th of May. For several decades and now for twenty years, the 9th of May has been an important holiday for us here in Hungary from another point of view, as it is also a holiday for Europe and the European Union. On the 9th of  May 1950, the French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman published the declaration that we consider to be the foundation of the European Union. It was from this idea that the European Union was born in the years that followed, and to which we have formally belonged for twenty years now, just as we have always belonged to the European Union in our hearts and souls,” István Puskás said. He also recalled a third significant day on the 9th of  May, which this year falls on today, it is Holy Thursday, an important Christian holiday. The Ascension of Jesus is celebrated today by the Christian community of believers. “In this way, many elements of our world, our civilization, which fortunately define our lives to this day, come together very nicely. All three elements can be condensed into one important message, and this is peace,” the Deputy Mayor emphasised. “One of the ideas behind the establishment of the European Union is precisely that such a terrible thing as the Second World War should never happen again in Europe, and that there should finally be a long and lasting peace in Europe. And indeed, we can thank the European Union for the security and peace that is the key to prosperity and development. It would be very good if this basic idea of the European Union were alive in the minds of all European citizens, and no one would risk this peace with irresponsible political actions that are not formulated in the founding spirit of the European Union,” István Puskás said.

And through being reborn in Jesus, the possibility of our spiritual peace, the invitation to it, is here with us today. The Deputy Mayor asked the commemorators to carry the message of peace with them in their hearts, words and deeds, and to remember the price that millions of European citizens paid so that we could live in peace and prosperity here in the 21st century. century, and let us make sure that this peace is also ours for the next generations, just as it was given to us.

After the speech, representatives of the Debrecen municipality, armed forces, parties, and civil organisations placed their wreaths on the pedestal of the World War memorial.

Source: debrecen.hu

Author: Debrecen4U