On April 30, 2011, Dr. Leslie L. Megyeri, President of the Hungarian Reformed Federation of America and Coalition Board Member, was awarded the prestigious Abraham Lincoln Award by the American Hungarian Foundation at its Annual Carousel Ball in New Brunswick, NJ. Dr. Megyeri was recognized for his courageous actions during the 1956 Hungarian Revolution and decades of work on behalf of the goals and aspirations of the Hungarian American community.
Dr. Megyeri, born in Rozsnyó, Hungary, came to the United States following the 1956 Revolution. A graduate of the George Washington University and the U.S. Army War College, he served as a staff member of various Congressional Committees, including the Subcomittees on Defense and National Security and the Appropriations and Government Operations Committees. Active in Hungarian-American affairs, he served on the Central and East European Coalition, where he lobbied for the admission of NATO into Hungary, and in 2007 was named President of the American Hungarian Reformed Federation. He is a Member of the Board of the Hungarian American Coalition.
Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich’s letter of congratulations has been published in the Congressional Record (see attached).
On May 2, in Budapest, László Hámos was awarded the „Arany János” medal of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in recognition of his decades of work on behalf of Hungarian minorities. Mr. Hámos was raised in New Jersey and studied at the University of Pennsylvania. Since 1976, he has served as President of the New York-based Hungarian Human Rights Foundation (HHRF) (originally the Committee for Human Rights in Rumania). HHRF seeks to raise awareness, particularly among U.S. and international policymakers, about the human rights conditions of 2.5 million ethnic Hungarians who live as minorities in Central Europe. László Hámos and his co-workers presented oral testimony on 27 occasions before U.S. Congressional committees and represented the plight of Hungarian minorities at nine Helsinki Final Act Follow-Up Meetings. Since the downfall of communism, HHRF has mobilized Western support for the positive initiatives and aspirations of Hungarian minority communities to restore their traditions of educational and cultural excellence in the contemporary context.
In 1991, László Hámos was one of founders of the Hungarian American Coalition and continues to serve on its Executive Committee. Currently he is Chairman of the Board of the Hungarian Reformed Federation and serves as President of the Hungarian American Library and Historical Society. In 2001, he was awarded the Commander’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary.
In bestowing the Arany János medal, the Hungarian Academy of Sciences stated that: „With his activities over the course of nearly four decades, László Hámos has provided a tremendous service to the Hungarian nation as a whole, and particularly to the Hungarian minorities in the Carpathian Basin.”