Úz Valley Cemetery

Hungary honours 95-year-old Úz Valley veteran

For his resistance during the Second World War in the Úz Valley, in the Year of National Unity (2020), President of Hungary János Áder decorated a Szekler-Hungarian veteran soldier from Felsőfalva (Ocna de Sus). Aladár Kovács was awarded the Knight of the Cross from the Order of Merit of Hungary on the Hungarian National Holiday of March 15, but due to the pandemic, the 95-year-old veteran could only receive the honor last Wednesday in the garden of the Reformed Church in his home village.

Aladár Kovács
95-year-old Úz Valley veteran Aladár Kovács was honored for his resistance after 76 years. (Photo: Bálint Előd Erdély/szekelyhon.ro)

“There is no nation or community in the world, which somehow would not recognize the extraordinary achievements and would not show its gratitude in return. I believe that it is part of human nature and is not only important for the individual but for the community as well; and by strengthening the self-esteem of the nation, it helps us live our daily lives and gives fuel for our future and to our struggle for survival,” said the first subaltern consul of the Consulate General of Hungary in Csíkszereda (Miercurea Ciuc), Balázs Farkas, before handing over the honor to Aladár Kovács.

Aladár Kovács
(Photo: Bálint Előd Erdély/szekelyhon.ro)

According to Hargita (Harghita) County Council President, Csaba Borboly, who initiated the honor, he believes that the efforts of Aladár Kovács and his fellow soldiers will not fade away. He also stressed that there is an ongoing argument about Úz Valley, but he hopes that the Hungarian community will come out of it a winner.

Garden of Felsőfalva
The ceremony took place in the in the garden of Felsőfalva Reformed Church on August 12, 2020. (Photo: Bálint Előd Erdély/szekelyhon.ro)

Mayor of Parajd (Praid) Sándor Bokor expressed his happiness that after 76 years, the veteran had finally received his well-deserved respect and thanked his and his fellow soldiers’ sacrifice. But he also added sadly that while Hungary still takes care of its battlefield heroes after so many years, the Romanian state does the opposite, raiding the Úz Valley cemetery.

Hungarian Ceremony
(Photo: Bálint Előd Erdély/szekelyhon.ro)

Local Reformed pastor Tibor András Szász called the ceremony a nice feast, but he added that

during his 38 years of service, he had buried 300 Úz Valley veterans and because of this, he carries numerous stories that are not in the history books, but which will not stay secret before God.

Bálint Előd
(Photo: Bálint Előd Erdély/szekelyhon.ro)

The laudation also included the short life-story of Aladár Kovács, mentioning that he enlisted at age of 18 to the Hungarian Army and fought in WWII between 1943 and 1944. He served in the Úz valley as a bicyclist in the 18th Battalion. During the fights he was injured by a bullet splash; following this, he returned to his home village and started a family. The ceremony ended with the singing of the Hungarian and the Szekler anthem. (szekelyhon.ro)


Title image: Bálint Előd Erdély/szekelyhon.ro

Author: Attila Szoó