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Hungarian-Americans Commemorate Anniversary of the 1848 Revolution

Tomorrow, March 15th, is a national holiday in Hungary, commemorating the outbreak of the 1848 Revolution, an event that, in many ways, birthed modern Hungarian national consciousness.

But while there will plenty of speeches and ceremonies around Budapest and throughout the country as a whole, such events will by no means be confined to Hungary, or even to Europe as whole. In fact, Hungarian-Americans throughout the United States will be, or already have, hosted commemorations for the events of 169 years ago, events which still have tremendous meaning for Hungarians to this day.

On march 12th, Hungarian-Americans in New York City officially unveiled the new 1956 memorial, which is located next to a statue of the leader of the 1848 revolution, Lajos Kossuth. The event’s speakers included Former New York Governor and Republican Presidential Primary hopeful George Pataki, as well as Hungarian Assistant State Secretary for national affairs Péter Szilágy and New York Consul General Ferenc Kumin. The commemoration included a wreath-laying ceremony, and was dedicated to both the 1848 and 1956 revolutions. The statue’s official unveiling was followed by a commemoration ceremony at the Hungarian House of New York.

In Cleveland, home to the largest population of Hungarians in the Midwest, a ceremony was held on March 11th at the Cleveland Public Library. There, a wreath was laid in front of the library’s bust of Sándor Petőfi, the famed revolutionary poet whose words helped spark the events of March 15th. This was followed by an event that included the recitation of Hungarian poems, songs by Cleveland Hungarian church choirs, and performances by the local Hungarian scout troops.

Members of Cleveland's Hungarian scout troops perform at the 1848 commemoration held inside the Cleveland Public Library (Photo- Bocskai Rádió)
Members of Cleveland’s Hungarian scout troops perform at the 1848 commemoration held inside the Cleveland Public Library (Photo- Bocskai Rádió)

In Boston, March 15th celebrations were held on two consecutive days, with a memorial performance on March 8th, followed by a wreath-laying ceremony the next day.

And this coming weekend, on March 18th, the Philadelphia and Vicinity Hungarian Sports Club (Magyar Tanya) will be hosting a commemoration for the events of the 1848 Revolution. The afternoon’s events will begin with mass, and will be followed by a commemoration ceremony, whose keynote speaker will be Dr. Réka Szemerkényi, Hungary’s Ambassador to the United States. These events will be followed by a dinner.

Naturally, these are but a few of the events that have been held or will be held to commemorate the memory of 1848 in the United States. In fact, it would not be inaccurate to say that, wherever Hungarians can be found, from California to Ohio to Florida, 1848 will be remembered.

Via magyartanya.org, nyugatihirlevel.hhrf.org, bocskairadio.org, and mandiner.hu

Images via mandiner.hu and bocskairadio.org