Budapest, November 4 (MTI) – Hungary’s flag was raised and then lowered to half-mast with military honours in front of Parliament on Wednesday to mark the 59th anniversary of the crushing of the 1956 revolution and freedom-fight.
The Hungarian government in 2013 declared November 4 to be a national day of mourning.
Following convention, the commemoration began with the singing of the national anthem in Kossuth Square with representatives of Hungary’s military, state officials, and members of the foreign diplomatic corps in attendance.
In the afternoon, Gergely Gulyas, parliament’s deputy speaker, gave a speech in the Urania National Film Theatre that presented a documentary entitled Sentenced to Life (Eletreiteltek). Gulyas said the 1956 revolution was an eternal symbol of freedom fight and the documentary portrays heroes who demonstrated their loyalty to the Hungarian nation and its freedom.
Addressing a commemoration in Veszprem, in western Hungary, the parliamentary state secretary of the human resources ministry, said that 59 years ago some 2,000 tanks rolled along on the roads in Hungary which gave people the experience that such a move can mean an end to one’s, as well as to a nation’s freedom.
“1956 reminds us that freedom once achieved must be protected every day,” Bence Retvari said.
Addressing a commemoration at the Kiscelli Museum in northern Budapest, the economy minister said that the Hungarian nation could not exist without remembering 1956 and that the values the revolution and freedom fight reinforced must be endorsed.
“What we must remember is that we, Hungarians have the right to our freedom, and to our national pride,” Mihaly Varga said, adding that Hungary should in 2015 follow suit and not allow others to tell it what to do, the same way that it did not in 1956.
The radical nationalist Jobbik party said in a statement that it will launch a campaign for reinstalling a memorial for 1956 in the square in front of Parliament.
The Dialogue for Hungary (PM) party said that at the initiative of its youth arm Green Front, the leaders of the youth arms representing other parties together laid flowers at a Budapest 1956 memorial.
Ferenc Gyurcsany, the leader of the leftist opposition Democratic Coalition (DK) said “1956 has not become a real celebration of a new democracy in Hungary.
“I mourn our failed revolution, those hundreds who were murdered, I mourn the cause of freedom which was betrayed, a cause for which I and we are, fighting again,” Gyurcsany said.