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

 

Leaked: UK Counter-Terrorism Training Material

The PREVENT Strategy has permeated all aspects of public life in the UK. It is important that the training provided to public sector workers to implement the strategy is scrutinised for its empiricism. To this end, CAGE has released the most comprehensive leak of PREVENT training material so far. More>>

ALSO:

Weather: Aid Urgently Needed For Drought-Stricken Ethiopia

As the severity of ongoing drought in Ethiopia is exacerbated by the arid effects of ‘super El Nino’, ChildFund New Zealand is appealing to more New Zealanders to contribute to their growing aid response. More>>

'Very Concerned' After Court Ruling: UNHRC On Transfer Of 267 People From Australia To Nauru

Most of these people were reportedly brought to Australia from Nauru to receive medical treatment and are in a fragile physical and mental state. The group includes more than 12 women and at least one child who have allegedly suffered sexual assault or harassment while in Nauru. The group also includes 37 children born in Australia. More>>

ALSO:

Sanctions To Be Lifted: NZ Welcomes Implementation Of Iran Nuclear Deal

Duty Minister Nikki Kaye has welcomed the next stage in the historic nuclear deal between Iran, the Five Permanent (P5) members of the United Nations Security Council, and Germany... “New Zealand has now started the domestic process for removing the UN sanctions." More>>

ALSO:

Pre-Davos Reports: 62 People Own Same Wealth As Half The World

Runaway inequality has created a world where 62 people own as much wealth as the poorest half of the world’s population – a figure that has fallen from 388 just five years ago, according to an Oxfam report published today ahead of the annual gathering of the world’s financial and political elites in Davos.. More>>

ALSO:

Jakarta: UN Secretary-General On Attacks

The Secretary-General condemns the bombings and gun attacks in Jakarta today... there is absolutely no justification for such acts of terrorism. He hopes the perpetrators of today's attacks will be swiftly brought to justice. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news