The historic event started with a commemoration ceremony on Heroes’ Square. The Institution of the Hungarian Academy of Arts was converted into a catafalque according to the designs of László Rajk and Gábor Bachmann. Here the coffins of Imre Nagy, Miklós Gimes, Géza Losonczy, Pál Maléter and József Szilágyi were placed. Beside theirs, an empty coffin was laid commemorating the unknown martyrs.
Hundreds of thousands gathered in the square. After the laying of the wreath the names of the victims of the retaliations were read out for 45 minutes.