Illustration - Photo: MTI

March 15 commemorations conclude with ceremony held at Washington embassy

The March 15 celebrations, marking the 176th anniversary of the outbreak of the 1848-49 revolution and war of independence, ended on Friday with an official commemoration organized for members of the local diaspora at the Hungarian embassy in Washington.

Ambassador Szabolcs Takacs noted that traditionally Hungarians living in and around the American capital are invited to celebrate on March 15, and this was also the case this year.

At the ceremony, Emese Latkoczy, the director and one of the founders of the Hungarian Human Rights Foundation, received the Knight’s Cross of the Hungarian Order of Merit, for her work.

Previously during the day, local Hungarian organizations held a commemoration at the Kossuth House in Washington, the leaders of the scout troop, the Catholic and Reformed communities, and the Kossuth Foundation laying a wreath at the memorial plaque of Lajos Kossuth. Peter Pal Schmitt, the deputy head of mission, laid a wreath at the Kossuth memorial on behalf of the Hungarian embassy.

Sandor Vegh, the president of the foundation that operates the Kossuth House, noted that Lajos Kossuth had visited Washington in December 1851 to gain support for the Hungarian cause.

The Tisza Dance Ensemble, made up of American and Hungarian members, gave a festive show at the Kossuth House.

The March 15 commemorations coincided with another commemoration held a few hundred kilometres from Washington, at the NATO command in Norfolk, where Hungary, Poland and Czechia commemorated the 25th anniversary of their NATO membership.

At this event, Ambassador Takacs drew attention to Hungary’s commitment to the NATO alliance, and said Hungary’s budget contribution to NATO serves the purpose of making the organisation a truly defensive alliance with a military force that is a deterrent, but one that is in service of peace.

The March 15 commemorations began on Wednesday in the Capitol building, where Ambassador Takacs and Congresswoman Carol Miller laid a wreath at the statue of Lajos Kossuth.

Hungarians living in Washington will hold the commemorative Kossuth run on Sunday, organized by the Kossuth Foundation.

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