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Proclamation 5555—National Hungarian Freedom Fighters Day, 1986

October 20, 1986

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

The people of Hungary have contributed many chapters to the history of the struggle for liberty, but never more nobly than in 1956. On October 23 of that year, Hungarians, including the young people, rose up in revolt against communist dictatorship and Soviet occupation.

The freedom fighters, as they were called by a world amazed at their heroism and idealism, fought almost barehanded against heavy odds, and soon fell victim to treachery and ruthless suppression. But they lit a candle of hope and inspiration that can never be extinguished.

The Hungarian Revolution of 1956 was a true revolution of, by, and for the people. Its motivations were humanity's universal longings to live, worship, and work in peace and to determine one's own destiny. The Hungarian Revolution forever gave the lie to communism's claims to represent the people, and it told the world that brave hearts still exist to challenge injustice.

The Hungarian freedom fighters of 1956 perished or suffered exile, but their sacrifice lives on in the memory of the Hungarian people. Their example lives on as well, for we see brave people—we call them freedom fighters too—in genuine popular revolutions against communist oppression around the world. Let us honor the Hungarian freedom fighters of 1956 with renewed dedication to our own freedom and with continued assistance for those who follow in their footsteps today.

In memory of the Hungarian heroes of 1956, and to honor those who struggle still, the Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 385, has designated October 23, 1986, as "National Hungarian Freedom Fighters Day" and authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this event.

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim October 23, 1986, as National Hungarian Freedom Fighters Day. I invite the people of the United States to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities to reaffirm their dedication to the international principles of justice and freedom, which unite and inspire us.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this twentieth day of October, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-six, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and eleventh.

Signature of Ronald Reagan


Ronald Reagan, Proclamation 5555—National Hungarian Freedom Fighters Day, 1986 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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