It is difficult to put into words the love that someone can feel for a nation thousands of miles away that you’ve never stepped foot on. But let’s try.
Since the time that Adam and Eve were ejected from the Garden of Eden for errantly trusting the sly words of a talking snake, history could be seen through the following simple lens.
Humanity’s story is that of individuals and groups trying to unjustly control, conquer, con, or otherwise oppress others. There are fundamentally honest people, the fundamentally dishonest, and those in between.
Humanity was created to be free, but ironically, much of history is the story of various kinds of conflicts, attempts at or actual conquests, oppression, and slavery.
Here in the U.S. we have our Independence Day to commemorate the formal signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.
More recently, Labor Day was established to celebrate the struggles – often violent – of workers organized to stop the manipulation and domination here in America by powerful oligarchs who enjoyed serious economic and political power.
Between those 2 events on November 19, 1863 we recall the Gettysburg Address by Abraham Lincoln, one of the most famous, yet brief, speeches rendered by an American President. HistoryNet provides this full text of the 16th American President’s fabled words, which were spoken on the occasion of the dedication of the Soldier’s National Cemetery after the Battle of Gettysburg, which turned the tide for the Union against the Confederacy in the Civil War.
“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
To some, those words will evoke powerful emotions, others may not at this time full grasp their richness. But anyone who has lost a loved one in some way for the fight for liberty is far more likely to understand what one of the most famous Republican presidents – honest Abe Lincoln – was attempting to convey.
For Hungarians – Magyars – October 23, 1956 is a similarly historic remembrance. We recently went to Sarasota, Florida on Saturday on October 12, 2019 for their 13th annual Hungarian Festival. There my wife Soheyla, our son Tamas and I met a woman who told us about an upcoming event for a Hungarian group based in Plant City, FL called the Magyar Szabadság Kör. They translate that into English as the Hungarian Liberty Club, and perhaps because my Hungarian isn’t as proficient as many of theirs, in my mind it could also be translated as the Hungarian Freedom Club.
There, our family spent about 3 delightful hours of eating, drinking, music, dancing, that began with a short presentation that celebrated the Hungarian Revolution that formally began on October 23, 1956. That presentation is the third video, further below.
The Soviet Army – the military arm of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics or USSR, occupied Hungary in the closing months of World War II. It was not long before the “Cold War” began between the Western allies and the Moscow-driven alliance of the so-called Warsaw Pact countries that represented the conquered nations of Eastern Europe effectively ruled by the USSR.
This period British news video above helps capture some of the story. Even though it was thousands of miles away, Americans and millions around the world were among those riveted to their TVs and other news sources, following those events. The Hungarians were attempting to free themselves from Soviet rule. This dramatization below adds literal and figurative color to those events.
During the opening ceremony, the woman who invited us to the attend the Magyar Szabadság Kör was doing a slide presentation that covered many of those same items in those two videos, but she had crafted a presentation of her own. That interesting Magyar video is posted below. Many there at the ceremony recalled those events personally, because they had lived through it. Note that the images at the top of this article are from the Hungarian Liberty Club website. Most any Hungarian within a few hours drive of their periodic gathers would enjoy their event. Truly inspirational, uplifting, entertaining, and just good clean fun.
My parents were born and raised in Hungary but fled for the Western Allied lines before the Soviet Armies overran Budapest, Hungary in 1945. They spent several years in a DP – or Displaced Persons – Camp, before the obtained sponsors, applied, and legally emigrated to the United States, where I was later born. My parents spoke several languages, so I learned both English and Hungarian as I grew up, the first of my siblings born here in the U.S. A brother and a sister died during my parents flight from their homeland. One died of shock during a bombing raid. Another was misdiagnosed for what might have been a readily curable condition; perhaps if a hurried medical professional had more time, or had the ability to do more testing, that sibling might still be alive. War is hellish.
At one point during that lady’s Hungarian Liberty Club talk, the man to my right leaned in and quietly said that Stalin was worse than Hitler.
Millions of Americans might find that to be a surprising statement. But as a student of world and American history, I recalled that our famous General George S. Patton felt similarly. Patton was one of America’s best military leaders in Europe. He thought that as bad as the Nazis – National Socialists – were, the USSR was even worse. He saw both close up and personal. So that Hungarian expatriate, who clearly loves America and his native land too, was not alone in his view. That expatriate told me that he often tells his American friends that they have no f-ing idea how lucky we are to be Americans. His words, and he’s lived here and there.
In Sarasota and at the Hungarian Freedom Club celebration in Plant City, both events included the singing of our national anthem and the Magyar one too. Flags of both nations were on display.
Unless someone understands how precious freedom is, even with the challenges we face at home and abroad in our era, the U.S.A. is seen as a beacon of hope. Just pause and think for a few moments. Those protestors you may have seen on television or videos from Hong Kong in recent months, numbers of them are waving an American flag as they protest against the Chinese communist government. That waving of the U.S. flag should speak volumes to everyone in America.
Those who have visited this site several times know that we spotlight real problems in our nation, commonly about issues revolving around affordable housing. But we do so in part because we know that Americans have an ability to learn the causes of a problem, and then can organize to do something positive about a real concern.
Freedom isn’t free. There are those in our land today who are promising ‘free stuff’ – ‘free college, free healthcare,’ some even promise ‘free cash’ given by the government. As a youngster in junior high school, we were taught a phrase. TANSTAAFL. It’s an acronym that means “There Ain’t No Such Thing As a Free Lunch.” Somebody always pays.
One might agree with Senator Bernie Sanders that there is a problem with a “rigged system,” without having to agree that the solution is Socialism. Sorry Senator Sanders, but with all due respect, he is dead wrong about his embrace of socialism as a solution to America’s problems.
Ponder as evidence the chart below from the University of Hawaii. Tens of millions have died as a result of the brutality of National Socialists (Nazis), the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), Chinese Communism, or socialist and communist movements in Cuba, Venezuela, Vietnam, Cambodia, or North Korea. More have died from wars fought by socialists or in oppression in socialist and communist countries than perhaps any other cause in world history. Who says? The University of Hawaii professor who organized the research data below.
That’s likely among the reasons why the people of Hong Kong have been protesting for months.
Those in Hong Kong live in the shadow of Communist China. They know that if they give in, their freedom, their liberty, will be lost.
This next video provides a snapshot of what’s gone wrong in Venezuela, after that once far more prosperous nation embraced socialism. Today, millions are losing weight because they are slowly starving.
I didn’t speak to all of the dozens who attended that Hungarian Liberty Club gathering last Sunday afternoon on 10.20.2019. I didn’t ask who lived in what kind of housing, conventional or manufactured home. But from those who did talk, they made it very clear that they hate what socialism and communism did in Hungary during World War II and into the Cold War era.
Those there routinely wanted to see the U.S.A. avoid those tragedies.
We write about the principle of separating the wheat from the chaff. Sanders’ argument that the system is rigged is one that President Donald Trump, Senator Elizabeth Warren, or even billionaire Democratic hopeful Tom Steyer agree on. But while they agree on the problem, their ‘solutions’ are vastly different.
Those who think that America can be fixed by going socialist – wittingly or not – are being deceived. There is no free lunch. The people ultimately pay. The powerful in communist or socialist regimes continue to live well, while the masses of the people suffer.
We’ll dive more deeply into ethical solutions for what’s missing in America another time. But for now, never forget this point.
Human history is in a very real sense the story of this or that leader or group trying to oppress or conquer another group. People don’t give up their liberties easily, so false promises are routinely made, often by very passionate speakers that sound convincing.
Don’t fall for a well package deception. Once freedom is lost, as the Hungarians of 1956, or the people of Venezuela in our own day remind us, it isn’t easy to get freedom back. For whatever is wrong, Americans have the Constitution that helps protect our God-given, inalienable rights to lawfully work to fix it.
Cuban, Venezuelans, Hungarians – those and others who are in the U.S. because they saw what socialism and communism did to their lands – are often strong believers in freedom. They routinely cherish America, as well as their native lands.
As longtime readers here know, while our focus is affordable housing and manufactured homes, we periodically look at topics like this that remind us of the bigger picture of life. Freedom isn’t free. Those Hungarians we met in the last 2 weekends know that reality first hand. See the related and linked reports further below. “We Provide, You Decide.” © (Lifestyle news, reports, fact-checks, analysis, and commentary. Third-party images or content are provided under fair use guidelines for media.)
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By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for MHLivingNews.com.
Tony earned a journalism scholarship and earned numerous awards in history and in manufactured housing. For example, he earned the Lottinville Award in history from the University of Oklahoma, where he studied history and business management. He’s a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com. This article reflects the LLC’s and/or the writer’s position, and may or may not reflect the views of sponsors or supporters.
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