The world's memories of heroism in Hungary should not depend on reminders like today's 25th anniversary of the rebellion against communist tyranny there. The pulling down of Stalin's statue on Oct. 23, 1956, remains an ineradicable image in the human struggle for liberty. The enormity of the military rejoinder branded Moscow as having no authority but force.
It was a cautionary tale. The West had to wonder if its rhetoric had led the freedom fighters to expect more than moral support. Resisters of repression had to calculate the odds of departing from stark realism.
Such echoes of Hungary will last beyond any anniversary. But so will the echoes of courage, of sacrifice, of people standing tall.