The only Holocaust survivor to have served in Congress, Hungarian-born U.S. Congressman Tom Lantos spent his life championing the cause of human rights around the world. Chargé d’Affaires Marc Dillard and other distinguished guests discussed a new Hungarian translation of a book about the Congressman’s life and the importance of his work.
Remarks by Chargé D’Affairs Marc Dillard
At the Virtual Book Launch of Event of “The Noble Banner of Human Rights” by Robert R. King
December 7, 2021
— as prepared —
“Good evening. I am honored to be a part of this special event, and on behalf of U.S. Embassy Budapest, I congratulate Robert King, the Tom Lantos Institute, and the Lantos family on this remarkable accomplishment.
Throughout 2021 we have been celebrating 100 years of formal diplomatic relations between the United States and Hungary. From military and scientific cooperation to Hollywood, from our political ties to our economic and trade relationship, there are many aspects to celebrate in this relationship.
I cannot think of a better way to mark this celebration than to recognize one of Hungary and America’s best, Congressman Tom Lantos.
Congressman Lantos truly represented the best of the United States, the best of Hungary, and the best of humanity. His life adds to the tradition of Hungarian-born “freedom fighters.” And what truly made his fight for freedom special was his tireless advocacy for the rights of the powerless and the voiceless around the world.
As the only Holocaust survivor to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives, Congressman Lantos approached his advocacy for human rights with an urgency and passion that inspires all of us. Through his lifelong effort, Tom modelled how we can work across parties, backgrounds, and borders to – as he put it – take “the noble banner of human rights to every corner of the world.”
Now, the institutions that bear his name continue to carry on that legacy by responding to the pressing human rights issues of our day. And, it is important to stand up for the values of decency, dignity, and freedom that Congressman Lantos held so dear.
It is my hope that those who read “The Noble Banner of Human Right” will follow the spirit of Congressman Lantos, and be inspired to courageously carry the banner of human rights advocacy into the next generation.
Thank you and again, and congratulations!”