Celebrating the Anniversary of Hungary’s 1956 Revolution
Monday, October 21, 2019
The REACH at the Kennedy Center
On Monday, October 21, 2019, the Embassy of Hungary celebrated the 1956 Revolution and Freedom Fight, as well as the 30th Anniversary of the Restoration of Democracy in Hungary at the REACH, the new extension of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
As his Excellency, Ambassador of Hungary to the United States of America Laszlo Szabo, M.D. mentioned in his opening remarks: “Anyone who witnessed the fall of communism will never forget the feeling of limitless joy and happiness that used to fill their hearts during those days. Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets in protest against the hopeless and grey decades imposed on them and demanded freedom and independence. The first moments when we were breathing freely became especially precious memories for all of us.”
Ambassador Szabo pointed out that the year 1989 almost immediately became known as an Annus Mirabilis because everything happened fast enough to seem miraculous. The outcome was the culmination of the struggle for freedom fought for almost half a century by the people of Eastern Europe.
Thirty years ago the people of Hungary had three interconnected goals in mind. They were aspiring to the kind of life and living standards enjoyed by West Europeans; they wanted to be integrated in the European Union and intended to join NATO. The latter of the two were fulfilled but according to Ambassador Szabo, reaching European living standards is still way ahead.
Honorable Tibor Nagy, Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of African Affairs, DOS, and Honorable Thomas Modly, Under Secretary of the US Navy, concluded the celebration with offering their families’ history and personal insight regarding the restoration of democracy in Hungary.
Joanna Athanasopoulos Owen, PhD