Speech of President János Áder at celebration in Saint Elizabeth of Hungary Roman Catholic Church, Toronto
Esteemed Toronto Hungarians,
Every nation and every generation imagines or creates its own heroes. These heroes mostly become familiar from captivating novels, exciting films and legends, which invoke historic times. The legendry of heroes however rarely mentions the fact that no heroes are born a hero in real life. Heroes are created by situations that demand heroism. Situations, which point far beyond their own significance. Heroes become heroes through their deeds. Their moments of resistance and self-sacrifice. Their decisions, which are about life and death.
We do not look on heroes as actors in our everyday lives. Yet, there are moments, when all of a sudden, strange things happen. When, all of a sudden we find ourselves surrounded by true heroes.
The boy from our street, the worker from the adjacent factory line, the new teacher from the school or the driver on the morning bus. They are the ones, whose faces are not familiar for us from the silver screen or from magazine covers. They are the ones, who appeared from our everyday lives. 1956 gave such heroes to us Hungarians. Countless ordinary people, who never prepared to be heroes, nor did they seek martyrdom. People who sought a life worthy of free men instead of the prison of dictatorship.
We should be grateful to destiny that many of the heroes and victims of our 1956 revolution are still among us. They live among us in the cities and villages of our homeland. They are also there in so many places around the world, where freedom loving Hungarians found a new home after 1956. Many of them found refuge here in Toronto. Many of the freedom fighters of the universities, the Western Railway Station, the Corvin-alley and of other Hungarian revolutionary spots came here.