World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Victims of Communism Memorial Groundbreaking


Remarks at Groundbreaking of the Victims of Communism Memorial


Dr. Paula Dobriansky, Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs

Washington, DC
September 27, 2006


As we gather today to break ground for this memorial, we owe thanks to those who made it possible. Dr. Lee Edwards, the Chairman of the Memorial Foundation, along with the Foundation's national and international members, gave generously of their time and effort in leading this project, and we thank them. I am proud to recognize the significant contribution made by my father, Ambassador Lev Dobriansky, who preceded Lee as chairman. Members of Congress of both parties, including Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, Congressman Lee Hamilton, and the late Congressman Jerry Solomon, played a crucial role in enabling and supporting the Foundation's work.

Our breaking of this ground in many ways signifies the end of the Cold War. This project has been guided by men and women for whom the Cold War was a central reality for most of their lives. The memorial built here will stand after we no longer do. It will educate future generations about the misery caused by communism, the massive resistance efforts, and the fortitude of those who were victimized by it and who ultimately overcame it.

Communism corroded the human experience of the 20th century. The sheer number of victims staggers and chastens us. Over a hundred million people died as a direct, and often intended, consequence of decisions made by Communist rulers. The innocent lost their lives in Katyn Forest; in the frozen gulag; on the streets of Budapest; in the fields of Cambodia. Those who did not die at the hands of Communist rulers suffered terribly under totalitarian regimes. They could not speak their minds; they could not travel freely; they could not realize their inherent potential; they had no say in the direction of their nation.

One of this country's great presidents, Ronald Reagan, stated frequently that communism is contrary to human nature. All people everywhere want to express their ideas, to worship as they see fit, to work at a trade or profession of their choosing, to own private property, above all to shape the future of their lives and that of their country.

The fall of communism in nation after nation at the end of the 20th century was a victory of the human spirit, a vivid demonstration that it burns with a vital fire even under conditions designed to smother it. It is right and necessary that we remember and pay tribute to those who suffered under, persevered, and eventually triumphed over tyranny and brutality. The memorial that will rise on this ground, the Goddess of Democracy, is a universal symbol of freedom, representing in majestic form the rights and aspirations of all women and men. Students in Tiananmen Square in 1989 erected this figure. It reminds us that many still live under communism -- including close by, in our own hemisphere.

It is the right of every woman and man to live in freedom, and it is the duty of all who enjoy liberty to stand by those who seek to attain it. Here today are representatives of countries that threw off the yoke of tyranny after decades of oppression. We gather to mourn and memorialize the victims of communism. Let us also honor them by rededicating ourselves to the furtherance of our democratic ideals.

Released on September 28, 2006

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Connie Lawn: Middle East Turmoil

There is always turmoil in the Mid East but at this time three major developments have broken at the same time. In Saudi Arabia 91 year old King Abdullah has died... In Yemen, the President and his top advisors have resigned. More>>

ALSO:

Russia Supports Indonesia`s Possible Move To Buy Sukhoi 35

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Russian government supports Indonesias wish to buy the multipurpose fighter jet Sukhoi 35 to enhance the countrys air force. More>>

Economy: International Monetary Fund Downgrade Global Growth Forecast

20 January 2015 – Despite a sharp decline in oil prices, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in its latest economic outlook today lowered growth expectations for this year and the next for most countries due to slowdown in investment, and urged governments ... More>>

ALSO:

UN Rights Expert Cancels Visit To Palestinian Territory

Israel’s lack of cooperation leads to cancelled visit by UN rights expert to the occupied Palestinian territory More>>

Pentagon To Deploy 400 Troops To Train Syrian Rebels

Rebel fighters take positions behind sand barricades at al-Breij frontline, after what they said was an advance by them in al-Manasher and al-Majbal areas, where forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad were stationed, in Aleppo January 5, 2015. ... More>>

ALSO:

U.S. Eases Sanctions On Export Of Tech To Cuba

Washington — Today, the Department of Treasury and Department of Commerce officially released the anticipated changes to the Cuban Assets Control Regulations (CACR) and Export Administration Regulations (EAR) , reforms announced last year by President ... More>>

Increased Gold Demand Following Shock SNB Move

Gold surged in dollars, pounds and especially euros yesterday after the Swiss Natonal Bank (SNB) caused turmoil in markets. Spot gold surged $30.50 or 2.48% to $1,258.50 per ounce and gold in euro terms rose by 4 per cent from EUR 1,044 to over EUR 1,085 ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news