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Marking the anniversary on Wednesday of the execution of 13 revolutionary leaders in Arad on October 6, 1849, President János Áder said that the ideals of the freedom fighters lived on in Hungary’s preservation of its heritage. “When we talk about the heroes of 1848-49, we must look behind … the greatness of self-sacrifices and see the fragile people involved, their personal torments, their serious decisions and their consistent, persistent commitment to their homeland,” Áder told the commemoration held in the renovated Star Fortress in Komárom, in northern Hungary. “As members of a generation that is no longer forced into self-sacrifice, we must learn from them, “to recognise again and again — on holidays and in everyday life — the great value of freedom, for which the heroes of 1848 -49 risked their lives,” the president said. Áder noted that three of the eleven major battles of the revolution and freedom fight of 1848-49 were fought in Komárom. “Komárom and its surrounding areas are consecrated land on which almost all of the Arad martyrs had set foot,” he said.
Hungary’s national flag was hoisted and lowered to half-mast in front of Parliament in remembrance of the Arad martyrs. The ceremony was attended by Romulusz Ruszin-Szendi, the commander of the Hungarian Armed Forces Commemorations were held in Hungary and abroad. A government official laid a wreath at the mausoleum of Count Lajos Batthyány, the prime minister of independent Hungary during the freedom fight, in the Fiume Street cemetery later in the day.
The revolution and freedom fight was part of a series of uprisings in Europe in 1848. On March 15, citizens of Pest gathered in front of the National Museum and demanded independence from Habsburg rule. Hungary’s first independent government with Batthyány as prime minister approved a reform package called the April laws. Later, the uprising grew into a war of independence, stifled by Austria and Russia in late 1849.