October 23, 2006

50 years, Freedom Comes Hard Sometimes

Last year at this time I published a remembrance of the Hungarian Revolution. This yeat, the 50th Anniversary of that Uprising is better noted on the pages of The Wall Street Journal. A sample:

Returning from school, I too spent the afternoon on the street; I was now part of the crowd standing on the square. The Soviet star had been installed on the top of the cupola only a few weeks before; they had done a really good job. The square was echoing the thundering rhythm of this cheerful demand but, it seemed, there was no one around to hear it: The Parliament building with its turrets and traceries loomed darkly, somberly and silently in the background. Perhaps there was some light up in the cupola hall. Perhaps they did hear it up there and thought it better to yield to the people's will.

Yet they turned off the public lighting of the square instead. A roar of indignation rose from the crowd, and it was to be feared that people would fall upon the building to tear it apart with their bare hands. Fires were started immediately; they set newspapers and pamphlets ablaze and held them up high. Wildfire-like, the quickly dying lights spread in waves above the heads. The silence had a solemnity about it; the sheer beauty of the waves of fire enchanted everyone for a moment. It was probably at this point that I lost my sketching board and my T-square. Then, high above, the ruby light of the star went off; it was the downsized replica of the Kremlin's famous star in Moscow. The square was completely dark now. In the soft and warm evening, autumn had a certain pungent, foggy edge to it; one could sense the Danube's metallic smell. The silence of a crowd always has a massive weight. It took some time before the square would dare believe that its demand had been heard, and then amongst triumphant, thunderous cheers the public lighting was turned on again.

A great read, go forth, read and come back here to comment.

Posted by GM Roper at October 23, 2006 07:10 AM | TrackBack

Reading this article evoked a host of conflicting emotions. The story though does remind us that the path to freedom involves pain, sacrifice, and loss -- and if we in the U.S. don't remember this, the world will remind us.

Although the revolt did not succeed in its goal of casting off Soviet control, it did set in motion a set of events that ultimately led to the fall of the Soviet Empire. Thus out of the ashes of defeat was birthed eventual victory.

So let us honor today in remembrance and celebration those brave resisters of Hungary 1956.

Posted by civil truth at October 24, 2006 12:37 AM

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