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Peace, Friendship and Cooperation

Military Commemoration in Sicily

Text: Major János Koch, Chief Warrant Officer István Tóth | Photo: Chief Warrant Officer István Tóth, Giancarlo Francione |  11:01 December 4, 2023

This November, the personnel of the Hungarian contingent serving with the NATO Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Force (NATO ISR Force) participated in the commemoration organized in the framework of the Italian-Hungarian friendship.

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The Hungarian soldiers, at the invitation of the mayor of the town of Vittoria, laid wreaths on the occasion of the “National Unity and Armed Forces Day” series of ceremonies at the “Hungarian Chapel” (Capella Ungherese) in the cemetery of the town and at the military memorial in the town square, commemorating the Hungarian soldiers deceased in the town’s prisoner of war (POW) camp during World War I. Mayor Francesco Aiello received in the town hall Major János Koch, the senior national representative of the Hungarian contingent and Chief Warrant Officer István Tóth, senior NCO back on 3 November. At the meeting, the Italian-Hungarian friendship and cooperation reaching back to the time of the fights for Italian unity in the 1860s was also mentioned. To the present day, the Italian people of Sicily clearly remember the heroic service of the Hungarian soldiers under the command of Major Lajos Tüköri and Lieutenant General István Türr, “The Fearless Hungarian”, who served beside General Giuseppe Garibaldi.

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During the discussion, the further possibilities for future cooperation were mentioned, with which the small Hungarian contingent can contribute to the appropriate protection of shared memories, and thus, to the improvement of bilateral relations. In 2024, as a result of the commitment of the citizens of Sicily to the Hungarian soldiers, the “Hungarian Museum” maintained and renovated by the town will be opened, and in parallel, the leadership of the town plans a conference on the Hungarian legion established in Palermo in 1860, in the spirit of the historic Italian-Hungarian military cooperation in Sicily.