Monday, May 25, 2009

Freedom For All

Happy Memorial Day, Everyone! And many thanks to those of you who have served to defend the freedoms of our country!

Every Memorial Day, my Mom would bring my sister and me up town for the Memorial Day service held on the corner lot of the public library in Chatham, NJ. Both of my parents were immigrants from Hungary, and so appreciated the freedoms they now enjoyed in the states. Mom came over at the age of seven with her mother; Dad in his late twenties after serving in WWII.

There were many memories both my parents shared of how life was in Hungary. One phrase my Dad repeated often describing society in his native country was: "What's mine is mine, and what's yours is mine also," adding, "You don't know how fortunate you are to be living in a country like this. Never forget that." Dad would also relay how the poor stayed poor while the rich stayed rich. And if the authorities didn't like you, for whatever the reason, false accusations could be charged against you without further questioning in your defense made.

Though Dad apprenticed as a tailor, he miraculously passed a virtually impassable test to work for the Hungarian National Railroad the third time he took it. This meant he also moved up a notch in the social realm, something that was seldom accomplished. Jealousy and hatred by a couple commanders clashed with admiration and praise from many others.

This, I fear, is what we are heading for with the change sought after by this new administration. Our veterans have sacrificed their lives for the original, authentic American dream held so dear by our Founding Fathers and the many individuals that sought, and are still seeking, to escape dictating, controlling societies.

After being injured and finding himself in Paris, Dad never saw his parents, family, or homeland again. Tearfully, through letters, his parents urged their only child never to attempt to return home. They all feared for his life if he ever set foot into the country since he had been employed by the government, and the political climate had changed.

Again I will express gratitude to those who have--and will--continue to defend the authentic American dream! May God bless America! --LKR


Julie said...

Nice to see your perspective! Were your parents ever able to return to Debrecen?

Leza said...

No--very sad. My dad still would have been in some danger/suspicion going back to Hungary during his lifetime. Kati Marton, (whose 2nd husband was Peter Jennings) wrote a book, "Enemies of the people : my family's journey to America" which describes some of the horror her family had gone through and how she was under suspicion when she finally went back to Hungary. My parents met in NYC--in front of Radio City Music Hall on a blind date, and they both waited..., and waited on opposite sides of the street for each other!!! They eventually *did* notice each other, lol, and the rest is history
!!! :-D