- Successful Memorial Day Commemoration Ceremony at Arlington
National Cemetery. About 40 members and guests which included
representatives from NATO, both the US and Hungarian military, Hungarian
American leaders, and representatives from the Hungarian Embassy witnessed
the Memorial Day ceremony. Arlington National is the final resting place
for a number of Hungarian American Congressional Medal
of Honor recipients. Following the program that included a roll call in
honor of those in present and past military service and a presentation
on Hungarian and American military traditions, the group proceeded on
a walking tour of 8 additional Hungarian American gravesites scattered
throughout the sprawling grounds. Details about those brave men can be
seen to the right.
Dawson-Szilagyi, AHF Executive Committee Chair (seen here placing the
AHF commemorative ribbon on the grave of Capt. Akos Szekely who died a
hero's death in Vietnam), wrote, "Most special to me was that our
commemoration had such a unique historical perspective... A perspective
that gave us a deeper understanding of the noble depths of the Hungarian
military tradition - a tradition that so many families carried on and
one we must honor by remembrance...[With the descendants of Gens. Asboth
and Kozlay there with us] We literally touched history - a history across
generations, centuries, and continents. A few highlights:
descendants of Gen. Kozlay met with the descendant of Gen. Asboth for
the first time (Gusztav Asboth is seen here on the left with Hungarian
Military Attache Janos Varga). We learned that Gen. Eugene Kozlay served
under Lajos Asboth, Sandor's older brother, in the 1848-49 war. Eugene
Kozlay also knew Sandor in New York, and he is mentioned several times
in Eugene's diary in the 1848 revolution. Hungary recognized the Kozlays
with the Pro Cultura Hungarica award after they donated Gen Kozlay's
manuscripts to the Petöfi Literary Museum in Budapest. We witnessed
these great Hungarian families shake hands in 2006. A number of those
present at Gen. Asboth's re-internment returned to commemorate his contributions
met Shirley Olchvary whose husband, Col. Paul Olchvary, served with
distinction in the US Army (his father, Col. Istvan Olchvary served
in the Hungarian Chief-of-Staff's Office and graduated from the famed
Ludovika Military Academy as did another AHF member - Gabor Olah). It
was interesting to hear how Col. Olchvary and Lt. Col. Vekony both joined
military service "to give back" what America had given to
their parents. A
sentiment that rings true to me and so many Hungarian Americans of that
- We learned that a nephew of the Lendvais (Imre is seen here to the
left of AHF Chairman of the Board Akos Nagy) is head of the International
Hungarian Boyscouts) is currently serving in Iraq.
met the son of FrancisGary Powers the US national hero who risked his
life and was shot down in his high-altitude spyplane over the red skies
of the Soviet Union.Francis Jr. (seen here to the left of Janet and
Doug Kozlay, Pro Cultura Hungarica plaque recipients) carries on the
fight to make sure the world remembers his father and Soviet tyranny
as Founder and President of the Cold War Museum.
heard 1956 Freedom Fighter and former US Army officer Zoltan Bagdy and
Dr. Imre Toth, a former lieutenant in the Hungarian Army and the last
surviving Secretary of the Revolutionary Committee for the Ministry
of Foreign Affairs for the Imre Nagy Government in 1956, call out the
names of so many of our brothers who served the cause of freedom.
- We received recommendations for the roll call from far and wide, including
the President of the 25th Infantry Regiment Association, the regiment
of Silver Star hero Akos Szekely. Others included Paul de Holczer and
Joe Ivany who lost his son in Iraq.
this year, the 50th anniversary year of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution,
it was particularly poignant to see freedom fighters share this day
with American and Hungarian military officials that included the Military
Attaches to the United States (Col. Varga and Maj. Bone) and Hungary's
NATO representative (Col. Juhasz). Congratulations are in order for
Lt. Col Vekony and Maj. Bone for an excellent exchange and presentation.
- Finally, we touched the stones that serve as reminders of the heroes
buried there... heroes that fought in American battles that spanned
3 centuries. These men are not forgotten. What an example Bela Kovach,
an AHF member from Ohio, who travels to Hungary to kiss the grave of
Alexander Asboth's parents each year, in keeping with Asboth's last
wishes. No, Gen. Asboth, your parents are also not forgotten.
May the unity we found yesterday continue and permeate all things we
4/26/2006 - The American Hungarian Federation
announces Memorial Day Commemoration Ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery
on May 29, 2006. Representatives from NATO and both the US and Hungarian
military, Hungarian American leaders, and the Ambassador and representatives
from the Hungarian Embassy are expected to attend. Arlington National
is the final resting place for a number of Hungarian American Congressional
Medal of Honor recipients.
"Faithful unto Death"
American Hungarian Federation (AHF) established the Colonel Commandant
Michael Kovats Medal of Freedom to honor outstanding individuals and recognize
their life's achievements, dedication to freedom and democracy, promotion
of transatlantic relations, and meritorious contribution to society. The
award, AHF's highest honor, is open to Hungarians and non-Hungarians alike.
Inscribed on the medal is AHF's Motto, “Fidelissimus ad Mortem"
or "Faithful Unto Death,” which represents Hungarian American
historical committment to the United States. The motto was taken from
a letter written by former Hussar Officer Michael Kováts to Benjamin
Franklin. Kovats, known as a Founding Father of the US Cavalry, offered
his sword in service to the United States. On
May 11, 1779, Colonel Kovats gave his life in the American War for Independence
while leading the Continental Army cavalry he had trained in Hungarian
hussar tactics against a British siege of Charleston. The British remarked
that Kovats' forces were "the best cavalry the rebels ever had."
He is immortalized in the almost lifesize portrait by Gabriella Koszrous-Varsa
seen here. He is immortalized at the Citadel Miltary Academy in South
Carolina as they honor him and named "Kovats Field" after him.
The Hungarian Embassy, too, has a statue in his honor sculpted by Paul
Takacs and executed by Attila Dienes.
as Kovats’ life and service is celebrated annually by US Military
Cadets at the Citadel, the motto reflects AHF virtues, and historically
and inextricably ties Hungarians and Americans together while symbolizing
Hungarians’ contributions and sacrifices to America’s beginning.
Among the oldest ethnic organizations in the US, AHF was founded in 1906
in Cleveland, Ohio, and established as an association of Hungarian societies,
institutions and churches to “defend the interest of Americans of
Hungarian origin in the United States.”
See [past Medal Recipients]
[back to all AHF news]
Hungarian-Americans Buried at
See below to learn more about the Hungarian Americans
buried at Arlington National Cemetery. To see where some of these heroes
are buried, [download the map]!
IF YOU KNOW additional Hungarian Americans buried in Arlington
National, please contact
General Alexander Asbóth
(b. 12/18/1811, Hungary, d. 1/21/1868, Argentina)
Military Chief-of-Staff, US Minister
Asbóth was a General in the Hungarian Army. Following the Hungarian
democratic Revolt of 1848 against Austria, he followed Kossuth to the
United States in 1851. He offered his services to the Union when the Civil
War broke out. John C. Fremont appointed him a Brigadier General of Volunteers
and chief-of-staff. Seriously wounded three times during the war, he was
appointed to the rank of general in l864.
the Battle of Pea Ridge, Arkansas, he was wounded in the left arm. Despite
the wound, he saddled up next morning. His arm was later shattered and
a bullet lodged under his cheek in the Marianna engagement in Florida.
In 1866, he was appointed U.S. Minister to Argentina and Uruguay. The
wound in his cheek failed to heal, and on January 21, 1868, he died and
was buried in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He finally came home on October
23, 1990 to full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery thanks
to the Hungarian Freedom Fighters’ Federation. His grandson attended
the funeral and is in the Virginia National Guard. Read more about him
Major-General Julius H. Stáhel
(b. 1825, Hungary d. 12/4/1912, NY)
Congressional Medal of Honor
Hussar in the 1848 war of independence. Escaped with Kossuth to the United
States. Worked as a Journalist. At the outbreak of the Civil
War, organized the 8th New York Volunteer Infantry becoming lieutenant-colonel.
At the First Battle of Bull Run, 1861, he prevented Confederate forces
from advancing on Washington. President Lincoln personally expressed his
to Colonel and shortly afterwards, received his star as a brigadier general.
After Mosby's raid at Fairfax Court House, Lincoln summoned Stahel and
ordered him to take charge of the cavalry at Fairfax and raised him to
the rank of major general.
Stahel received the US Congressional Medal of Honor for
his bravery at the Battle of Piedmont in Virginia. While wounded, the
General led a cavalry charge which led to a Union victory. In 1866 President
appointed Stahel consul in Japan where he succeeded in opening additional
ports to American trade. In 1884 he was made consul in Shanghai, China.
Read more on Arlington
Cemetery.net or download Prof.
Stephen Beszedits' essay on Gen. Stahel for the Military Order of
the Loyal Legion of the United States
S/Sgt. Lászlo Rábel
(b. 9/21/1937, Budapest, d. 11/13/1968, Vietnam)
Congressional Medal of Honor
Laszlo earned the Medal of Honor in Vietnam while serving in the 173rd
Airborne Brigade on November 13, 1968 “for conspicuous gallantry
and intrepidity in action at the risk of his own life above and beyond
the call of duty.“ He distinguished himself while serving as leader
of Team Delta, 74th Infantry Detachment. Team Delta was in a defensive
perimeter conducting reconnaissance of trail networks when enemy
movement was detected.
As he and a comrade prepared to clear the area, he heard
an incoming grenade as it landed in the midst of the team's perimeter.
With complete disregard for his own life, he threw himself on the grenade
and, covering it with his body, received the complete impact of the immediate
explosion. By gallantry at the cost of his life in the highest traditions
of the military service, he has reflected great credit upon himself and
the US Army.
Read more on Arlington
Capt. Ákos Dezsö
(b. 3/24/1942, d. 9/11/1968)
Silver Star for Gallantry in Action
Szekely distinguished himself by heroic actions on 11 September 1968,
while serving as Commanding Officer with Company A, 1st Battalion, 5th
Infantry near Ben Cui, Vietnam. His unit was established in its night
location when they came under intense fire from a numerically superior
enemy force. He immediately ran to the perimeter through heavy enemy fire
in order to direct his men’s suppressive fire, braving fierce.
complete disregard for his own personal safety, he moved about the bullet
swept area, and while engaging the enemy with his M-16 rifle, Captain
Szekely was mortally wounded. His valorous actions contributed immeasurably
to the successful completion of his mission and the defeat of the enemy
force. He appears to be the only Hungarian American whose tombstone uses
Hungarian accented characters. When competing for an appointment to West
Point, Representative John R. Foley, Sixth Maryland District, reported
his selection from the large number of finalists with this remark: “Akos
Szekely…the most unique, special, and outstanding student I ever
appointed to the United States Military Academy.” He would go on
to rank near the top in all of his academic courses and graduated number
five in his class on 3 June 1964, and has been recognized as the highest
ranking graduate of Hungarian ancestry from any of the United States Service
Also on the Vietnam Memorial, "The Wall" at
Panel 44W, Line 31
Read more about him [here]
TEC5 Andrew Major
(b. Hungary 8/18/1921, d. 10/15/2004)
preeminent textile pioneer and legend in the textile industry, fondly
known as ''The King of the Mills.'' Born in Hungary and educated in Switzerland
and England, he served in the US Army as a decorated veteran of the Pacific
Theater. Born in Hungary in 1921, educated in Switzerland and England,
served in the U.S. Army as a decorated veteran of the Pacific Theater.
As former president of Collins and Aikman Decorative Fabrics, he presided
over the world's leading fabric group. He joined Mastercraft in 1946,
became president in 1960, assumed ownership in 1969, and is responsible
for the company's meteoric rise, which today provides employment for 3,500
and sales in excess of $350 million. The recipient of numerous industry
and civic awards, including the first Lifetime Leadership Award from Dupont
in 1995, which embodied his creativity, devotion and legendary status
in the industry. In 2002 he received ''The Trailblazer Award'' and was
inducted into the American Furniture Hall of Fame.
He will always be remembered for his wit, generosity and love of life.
In lieu of flowers the family asked for contributions to the Andrew Major
Scholarship Fund at Isothermal Community College, P.O. Box 804, 288 ICC
Loop Road, Spindale, N.C. 28160.
Read more about him on Arlington
(b. 1/21/1857, Budapest, d. 1/14/1902, Philippines)
Private, Corporal and Sergeant, Company C and Sergeant Major, 6th United
States Infantry, 16 Mar 1880 to 22 October 1886, Second Lieuetnant, 11th
Infantry, 22 October 1886, First Lieutenant, 12th United States Infantry,
15 December 1893, Transferred to 11th United States Infantry, 16 April
1894, Captain, 2 March 1899. Died in BayBay, Leyte, Philippines. His wife,
Mary Brent Gurovits (1858-1929) is buried with him. BURIED AT:
Nicholas Ferencz, III
(b. 1964, Cleveland, d. 9/11/2000)
US Marine Corps.
Served in Desert Storm. A weapons systems officer with 7 years service,
he and the pilot were tragically lost on September 11, 2000 as a result
of a mid-air collision between two F/A-18D Hornets near Yuma, Arizona.
Seen here is AHF's Lt. Col. Steve Vekony saluting Maj. Ferencz.
CWO2 Alexander Ferencz
(7/19/1902 – 08/23/1975)
He served in the US Navy and was interred on 8/27/1975. He is buried with his wife, Emma.
S/Sgt. George Alexander de Holczer
(11/23/14 – 07/25/2003)
Born in the US, his parents (Louis John de Holczer and Sarolta
Anna Klára Putnoky de Holczer) and two siblings (Lászlo
and József) were born in Hungary. All became US citizens. Served
with the US Army Air Corps. During WWII.
QM2 Steven Ganzberger
(b. 8/25/1924, d. 5/20/2011)
2 BRONZE STARS
US Navy in 1942-1945
Quartermaster 2nd Class Ganzberger enlisted in the Navy durign WWII in 1942, the day after his birthday. He would see action in the Pacific Theater aboard two different LCI’s (Landing Craft Infantry) and be on active duty for 36 straight months. By war’s end, he had been awarded 4 medals, 3 battle stars, 2 campaign bars, 2 ribbons, the Philippine Presidential Unit Citation, the Insignia for the Amphibious Forces, and Honor Guard responsibilities.
[Read his Memorial] by his loving Grandson, and AHF member, Zach Morris
(b. 3/27/1950, d. 10/24/2005)
US Navy in 1977-1979
M Gy Sergeant Dale R Csizmadia
(b. 8/2/1951, d. 9/29/1998)
US Marine Corps. Interned on 10/8/1998
Thomas C. Cseak, Sr.
RD3 US Navy
(11/23/1941 - 02/28/2004)
SECTION: 6-MM ROW 27 SITE 6
Maj. Francis Csutoros
(b. 9/26/1955, d. 1/23/1996)
US Marine Corps, interned 2/6/1996)
BURIED AT: SECTION 6-MM ROW 27 SITE 6
(b. 10/25/1959, d. 11/11/2011)
Lance Corporal, US Marine Corps
Attila Zoltan Kovacs, was born in Mansfield, Ohi. He was the son of Lajos and Mary (Lakatos) Kovacs. He served with the United States Marine Corp, the Army National Guard and the United States Army. He was very patriotic but was also extremely proud of his Hungarian heritage. He is survived by his parents, Lajos and Mary Kovacs; a daughter, Rikki (Brent) Kovacs; a granddaughter, Brianna Briggs; two sisters, Klara (Mark) King and Maria (David) Leu; and numerous nieces, nephews and relatives in Hungary.
John Joseph Kovacs
(b. 12/21/1907, d. 4/27/2001)
Corporal, US Marine Corps
CW04 Michael Kovacs
(b. 10/28/1919, d. 4/24/2005)
Chief Warrant Officer 04, US Navy
Served in WWII and Korea
CPL Stephen J. Kovacs
(b. 8/29/1922, d. 6/15/2008)
US Marine Corps
Interned 7/22/2008 and his wife, Roberta, on 11/12/1999
Capt. William Kovacs
(b. 2/21/1923, d. 9/7/1985)
Did you know there are at
least 9 Hungarian American recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor? Read more about Maj. General Asboth and other Hungarian American Military
Heroes on The Hungary Page's "Nobel Prize Winners and Famous Hungarians" Military
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