- Washington, DC - 1956 Congressional Reception tremendous success
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10/21/2005 - Highly Successful 1956 Commemoration, Congressional Reception and awards ceremony!
AHF kicked off a year of events devoted to remembering the heroes of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution at it's Congressional Reception held on October 19, 2005. Congressmen Tom Lantos (D-CA) and Tom Tancredo (R-CO) were awarded the American Hungarian Federation’s Col. Commandant Michael Kovats Medal of Freedom for their “Leadership in Support of Democracy, Human Rights and Minority Rights in Central and Eastern Europe.” Col. Kovats was a founding father of the US Cavalry.
Both Congressmen are members of the Hungarian American Congressional Caucus and have supported AHF and Hungarian causes. They sponsored congressional resolutions, calling on Rumania to return illegally confiscated church properties. Congressman Lantos recently called on the Serbian government to stop the violence against Hungarians and other minorities in Vojvodina and helped secure the release of two Hungarians who had been illegally arrested and detained for representing victims of violence. The Hungarian American Congressional Caucus also played an instrumental role in having the barbed wire fence torn down this summer in the divided ethnic Hungarian village of Szemlenc on the Slovak/Ukrainian border. The village was split in two when Stalin annexed the area after WWII. A border crossing may soon be on the horizon.
The Congressmen congratulated AHF on the success of the event and praised Hungary and its people for their historic sacrifices. AHF’s Frank Koszorus, Jr., presented the awards to the Congressmen and remarked, “[The Hungarian Revolution was] the first major challenge to Soviet domination of the eastern half of Europe was the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. As the world watched, Hungarians of all walks of life rose up, fought the occupiers against overwhelming odds, and left a chink in the Soviet empire that ultimately contributed to the events of 1989 and 1990.”
Stefan Fedor, AHF President, welcomed guests and reflected on AHF and the importance of 1956 to our community. AHF also awarded the Medal of Freedom to Dr. Lászlo Gutay (Nuclear Physicist, Purdue University); Dr. I. Stefan Szára (National Institutes of Health, retired Chief of NIDA); Mr. Jim McCargar (CIA, Foreign Service Officer, retired); and Mr. Stephen Sisa (Author, former editor of the Free World Review). Mr. Sisa’s son, Capt. Istvan Sisa (USN, retired), accepted the award on his father’s behalf and echoed AHF’s Vice President Bryan Dawson-Szilagyi’s call for unity as he spoke Petofi’s words, “Talpra magyar, hí a haza ! Itt az idõ, most vagy soha!” The California Hussars, in full dress, headed by Frank Bakonyi, presented the Hungarian and American Colors.
Hungarian Ambassador András Simonyi also spoke and paid tribute to the “heroes” of the Revolution. The Ambassador commended the organizers of the event and thanked AHF for “representing all of us.” Other guests included Sandor Racz, who in 1956 was the president of the Greater Hungarian Budapest Workers’ Council and was imprisoned for several years following the crushing of the Revolution; House and Senate staffers; State Department representatives; representatives from the Serbian Embassy; and members of the Central East European Coalition (Polish American, Slovak American, Baltic Amercican, and Belarus American).
The mini-documentary produced by AHF with award-winning filmmakers Imre and ZsuzsaToth was shown on a monitor throughout the event, offering a glimpse back into triumph and tragedy in the fight for freedom. The reception also featured a [1956 book display] featuring the works of internationally renowned members and others such as Prof. Johanna Granville Ph.D., Prof. Beverly James, Ph.D., Dr. Bela Kiraly, Csaba Teglas, Dr. Istvan Tuba, Hugo Tischler, Gabe Kubichek, and Bela Liptak (click on their names to read their book display overview - NOTE: You will need the free Adobe Reader to open the document. Click the image to download and install it). Many of these books are available on AHF's Publications Website. Each participant received a CD of Szabolcs Magyarody's remarkable Corvinus Electronic Library, a collection of works available free online. Artist Gabriella Koszorus-Varsa displayed her masterwork depicting Col. Commandant Michael Kovats’ charge into battle.
Echoing the sentiments of AHF, Bryan Dawson-Szilagyi opened the event saying, “1956 is our inheritance. It is our present. It is our future. It is easy to glorify war, to remember the slogans and to forget the courage, the pain and the sacrifice. But we must not forget. 1956 is often referred to as a tragedy, but it is clearly not. It is a triumph. Look around the room. Each of the Freedom Fighters here today can tell a similar story, a very human story. Each came to the United States with nothing and built a better life. This is an example for all of us. But 1956 can teach us much, much more; a lesson we must learn and embody in everything we do. 1956 brought Hungarians from all walks of life and from all political persuasions together to fight for a common cause. It is that unifying force that must continue through today and into tomorrow. All Hungarian Americans must learn to focus on common ground for the benefit of our children’s children. Only in unity can we find strength. May the spirit of 1956 lead us to that unity. Most vagy Soha!”
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10/12/2005 - East Brunswick, NJ - AHF Gala Fundraiser to support Hungarian Schools in the Csango Region raises $15,000.00. The gala fundraiser was held on October 8th, 2005 in East Brunswick, New Jersey and featured a classical cultural program as well as dancing. It honored Brother Csaba Bojte, whose incredible work resulted in the establishment of eight homes for the abandoned Hungarian orphans in Transylvania. In May, he started building the first Hungarian School in the Csango Region, where the Romanian policy of destruction of Hungarian heritage is the strongest.[read more]
10/23/2005 - Hurricane Wilma threatens the1956 Commemoration and Memorial Dedication in Venice, Florida.
The Venice Hungarian Christian Society (HCS) and the American Hungarian Federation / Amerikai Magyar Szövetség (AHF / AMSz) invited all to attend the 1956 Commemoration Dinner and Memorial Dedication on Sunday, October 23rd 2005 at the Hungarian Christian Society at 165 Jackson Road in Venice, Florida.
For an update on protential cancellations, please contact Kálmán Nagy at (941) 483-4830 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Next AHF National 1956 Commemoration Committee meeting on October 26th at the DC Headquarters...AHF's 1956 Committee is calling for volunteers to assist with 2006 plans in Washington, D.C.
Other local organizations also need your help. Please contact us and see the 1956 Portal to find organizations in your area.
Disaster Relief Wall of Honor
We've broken the $5000.00 mark! Who is giving to the Disaster Relief Fund? AHF would like to publicly say "thank you." Click here to see and then join us to help our community!
SPECIAL NEWS: 25 Years of Pastoral Service! Rev. Dr. Bertalan is President Emeritus of the American Hungarian Federation. On September 25th, he was honored by his congregation as he celebrated 25 years of Pastoral service. Rev. Bertalan, in addition to his pastoral work, is a selfless civic and community leader; he continues to serve as a leader of many Hungarian American organizations, including the American Hungarian Federation and the American Hungarian Federation of Metropolitan Washington, D.C. Read more about him on [Featured Members]
Featured Link: Do you think you know something about famous Hungarians? Think again! See "Nobel Prize Winners and Famous Hungarians" on www.thehungarypage.com
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