Ten Local Freedom Fighters Honored at the 55th Anniversary of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution and Freedom Fight

Roswell, Ga - October 23, 2011 - Members of the local Hungarian American community and their guests enjoyed a commemoration and celebration of the 55th Anniversary of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution and Freedom Fight. The event, co-sponsored by the Hungarian Community Church of Georgia (HCCG) and Lauer Learning, was held at Roswell Presbyterian Church's Fellowship Hall. The annual event marked the community's continuous commitment to preserving the culture and history of the Hungarian American legacy.

As keynote speaker of the event, Andrea Lauer Rice, founder of the Hungarian Club of Georgia (HCGA) and Lauer Learning, a multimedia educational company, welcomed attendees and spoke about the events of the Revolution and the importance of keeping the memory alive for Hungarian Americans. Mr. John E. Parkerson, Jr., Honorary Consul of Hungary was a key participant of the special event, and presented each '56er with a certificate from the Hungarian Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Gyorgy Szapary. "What an honor this is to be a part of this wonderful and touching ceremony and to be able to thank these heroes for their tenacity and courage," said Lauer Rice. "I am always careful to both commemorate and celebrate the memory of the Revolution." She said it is a commemoration of those who lost their lives, who were forced to emigrate, or who stayed in Hungary to face the consequences of the failed Revolution. "We celebrate 1956 as a time when the youth of this nation rose up as one against the Soviet Union when no one else dared and we celebrate the spirit of the freedom fighters," Lauer Rice said.

Lauer Rice, Zoltan Doczi, of the HCCG and Honorary Consul John Parkerson, gathered on stage to present each '56er with their glass awards and certificates from the Ambassador. The awards, co-sponsored by the HCCGA and Lauer Learning, read "In commemoration of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution and Freedom Fight: 55th Anniversary."

"On this special evening, we are honored and humbled to be surrounded by 10 brave 56-ers who now call our state of Georgia their home. We will honor them this evening as we continue to commemorate and indeed to celebrate the courage and the great example of the Hungarian freedom fighters of 1956," Lauer Rice said.

Guests of honor who received awards were Charles Sheppard (Karoly Juhasz), Cumming, Ga; Gabor Vlajk, Alpharetta, Ga; Sandor I. Nagy, Alpharetta, Ga; Istvan Nogradi, Marietta, Ga; Katalin Karatson, Atlanta; Jeno Boros, Roswell, Ga; Dr. Katalin Ertavy-Barath, Stone Mountian, Ga; Alex Javorik (Sandor), Atlanta, Ga; Aranka Fodor, Cumming, Ga; and Agnes Kiss, Duluth, Ga.

Lauer Rice said that the 1956 Revolution is not only an important part of Hungary's history, it is also an important part of Hungarian American history because so many (35,000) Hungarians fled their homeland as a result of the Revolution, and came to America. "These immigrants were determined to keep the memory of the Revolution alive and raise their children as Hungarians," she continued. "This passion persists today through many Hungarian American organizations led by '56ers."

Participants enjoyed the program of music and poetry, and listened to personal stories of local Hungarian Americans. Lauer Learning also displayed it's 1956 Multimedia Exhibit on the Revolution which included pictures, newspapers and other artifacts from 1956.

According to Lauer Rice the 55th Anniversary means that the very youngest 56'ers are now turning 70. "So the handover to the next generation is no longer just coming...it is here!" she said. "It now falls to us, the next generation, to ensure that the stories of Hungarian freedom fighters are never forgotten, that the lessons are never lost."

updated: 5 years ago