Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Victims of Communism Memorial Dedicated in DC

From the Washington Times (6-13-07):

President Bush yesterday told hundreds of people whose countries had emerged from the grip of communism that their sacrifices would not be forgotten as he dedicated the Victims of Communism Memorial to the millions oppressed and
killed by totalitarian regimes.

"We'll never know the names of all who perished, but at this sacred place, communism's unknown victims will be consecrated to history and remembered forever," he said to more than 500 people just blocks from the Capitol. "We dedicate this memorial because we have an obligation to those who died, to acknowledge their lives and honor their memory."

The memorial is the only such monument in the world, according to its founders, who estimate that communist governments have killed more than 100 million people.

Mr. Bush compared the Cold War to the fight against terrorism, saying that the "evil and hatred" that inspired totalitarian regimes to kill millions is shared by terrorists today.

The bronze, 10-foot "Goddess of Democracy" statue was meant not only to memorialize the victims, but also to combat the ignorance of communism's global effects, said conservative historian Lee Edwards, chairman of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation.

[Statue modeled after the figure Chinese students placed in Tiananmen Square in 1989, which was subsequently destroyed by Chinese tanks]

"This is to send a very clear message that one-fifth of the world's population still live under communism and not by their choice," he said.

The ceremony came exactly 20 years after President Reagan visited the Berlin Wall and called on Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to tear it down. [More...]

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