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Our Heroes Cannot Be Lonely

Szöveg: (nzs) |  2010. november 4. 15:04

“What the soldiers fighting at Juta Hill did was the noblest act of all. Rather than fighting for their own good, they took up arms to stand up for the homeland and the nation”, this was how MoD Parliamentary State Secretary Dr. István Simicskó praised the single victorious battle of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution and War of Independence on the 54th anniversary of the events.

Soldiers and civilians, one-time insurgents and preservers of military heritage paid their tribute during a ceremony organized by the Ministry of Defence on November 4 at the memorial erected on the former battlefield. Dr. István Simicskó welcomed Judith Gyenes, the widow of 1956 Defence Minister and martyr Pál Maléter. He pointed out that the heroic resistance put up at Juta Hill had restored the self-esteem of the whole nation.

In those days the Hungarian troops, the anti-aircraft artillerymen of Esztergom and the freedom fighters active in the area temporarily halted the advance of the Soviet forces and their satellites, but the freedom fight as a whole was eventually lost and succeeded by a terrible retaliation that claimed the life of many army officers and NCOs, including Pál Maléter’s. Seven Hungarian soldiers were executed later for their active role in the Juta Hill battle.

“Sometimes a lost fight engenders victory at a later point, and the defeat in 1956 led to a victory in the 1989-90 change of regime, to the survival of the Hungarian nation, the building of the country and the system of national cooperation", Dr. István Simicskó stressed. The Hungarian people’s strength was shown by the fact that the political system of the previous eight years that had been based on suppression and informers could not break the populace completely. In the fall of 1956 everyone had to make a life-and-death decision, to choose between freedom and death, and our heroes chose freedom. We need to take courage from their example and heroic strength. We must keep alive the memory of those executed and vilified, because it can heal the wounds.

“Practitioners of Far East martial arts hold that each fighter is lonely, but the freedom fighters of 1956 – the old heroes living among us – can never be lonely, because we always stand by them and keep alive the memory of those who lost their life", this was how Dr. István Simicskó concluded his ceremonial welcome address.

After the words of commemoration an honor roll with the names of all dead soldier heroes was read out, which was succeeded by a wreath-laying ceremony. MoD State Secretary laid a wreath on behalf of the Ministry of Defence. Brig-Gen. Ottó Halmai followed suit on behalf of the MoD Defence Staff, while Col. László Szegő on behalf of the President of the Hungarian Republic. Afterwards several celebrities and representatives of military heritage organizations paid their tribute at the memorial.

At the reception following the wreath-laying ceremony Brig-Gen. Ottó Halmai said that today we are obliged to commemorate the heroes of 1956, after the decades during which one was forbidden from speaking about them officially or in the family circle, although the Hungarian freedom fighters of 1956 had been doing their duty in line with their oath, without the slightest hesitation.