Smolensk air disaster monument unveiled in Budapest
A monument to the victims of the 2010 Smolensk air disaster, unveiled in Budapest on Friday, is a beautiful gesture which will serve to strengthen Polish-Hungarian friendship, Poland's ruling Law and Justice party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski said in the Hungarian capital.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban gave his assurance that Poland can count on Hungary.
Also participating in the unveiling ceremony of the "Momento-Smolensk" monument was Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, who underscored that without understanding the dreadful Smolensk catastrophe, it is not possible to understand contemporary Polish history. The fact that our Hungarian brothers are trying not only to understand the Smolensk catastrophe, but also commemorate it by building a "bridge" to the future deserves the highest gratitude, Morawiecki said during the ceremony.
In his speech, Jaroslaw Kaczynski stressed that Polish-Hungarian friendship has very deep roots but if friendship between nations is to mark not only the past but also the present, it has to be strengthened and renewed and be subject to actions, undertakings and gestures. "This monument is such a beautiful gesture, which should strengthen our friendship. A beautiful gesture also because those who built it, who initiated its construction, know, remember, that the Smolensk tragedy is closely related to another tragedy - the tragedy of Katyn." He went on to observe that at both Katyn and Smolensk, "the Polish elite were killed." "That joins the two tragedies," Kaczynski said.
On April 10, 2010, President Lech Kaczynski, his wife, the last President of Poland in exile Ryszard Kaczorowski and dozens of senior government officials and military commanders were killed in the air disaster near Smolensk, western Russia. The delegation was on its way to Katyn to attend events marking the 70th anniversary of the 1940 Katyn Massacre, during which around 22,000 Polish POWs were murdered at the hands of the Soviets.