Katrina Lantos Swett
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONCORD, NH - On the occasion of what would have been Congressman Tom Lantos' 90th birthday, his native city of Budapest dedicated a statue in his honor on Tom Lantos Street in the 13th District of the city. The event was the initiative of the Honorable József Tóth and was attended by Hungarian officials, Lantos Family members, and many of Tom’s friends and admirers.
In response to the event, Mrs. Annette Lantos, widow of the late Congressman, released the following statement:
“It is hard to fathom that my beloved Tom has been gone for 10 years now. I know he would be deeply touched and grateful for this magnificent tribute in Budapest, a city he loved and returned to often during his lifetime. More importantly, I know how deeply moved he would be by all of the vital human rights work accomplished in his name, through the Lantos Foundation, through the continued human rights focus in the US Congress led by the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, and in Hungary through the Tom Lantos Institute.
Alongside these points of pride, he would also be gravely concerned about the state of global human rights. Despite the best efforts of a few dedicated human rights heroes in our government and in the international community, the abuses of basic human rights, religious freedom, and democracy continue to erode so many corners of the world. As the only Holocaust survivor ever elected to Congress, his voice would be both poignant and powerful and he would not stand for silence in the face of these outrages. Tom would be robustly defending the rights of persecuted communities from the Tibetans [Autonomous Region of China] and Uighur’s of China to the Kurds of Afrin and so must we.
Seeing my husband immortalized in his beloved Hungary only re-energizes my passion and desire to continue his work and further his legacy. As he so often said, “The veneer of civilization is paper thin. We are its guardians, and we can never rest.””