From the speech of Dr. Lee Edwards, Chairman of
the “Memorial of the Victims of Communism” Foundation, September
9th 2007 in front of the Memorial of the Victims of Communism:
…[Thank you for coming here today]
…..and I am proud to say that President George Bush was here.
…And in keeping with the bipartisan nature of our Foundation we
also heard remarks from Tom Lantos, who is the chairman of the House
Foreign Affairs Committee, a prominent democrat, and than also from
Dana Rohrabacher,[ sponsor of the legislation authorizing the Memorial],from
California, a prominent Republican, and also many others. The Papal
Nuncio was here and delivered the invocation. We have the ambassadors
from some 15 nations, who came here, including the ambassador from
Why were they here?
They were here along with some one thousand other people because
they wanted to memorialize and remember the one hundred million
victims of communism, actually more than 100 million victims of
communism We don’t really know how many they were and that is one
of the things we hope to finally pin down and [ work up] in the
And that is why, you cannot read too well from the shadows [of
the tree], but on the front of the Memorial are the words:
To the more than 100 million victims of communism and to those
who love liberty.
On the back of the memorial are the words:
To the freedom and independence of all captive nations and
And that is to remind us, there are still people under communism:
in China , in Cuba, in North Korea, in Laos and in Vietnam.
But our work has really only begun. This beautiful memorial ,
two block from Union Station and within sight of the US Capitol
with the Statue of Freedom, is only the beginning. Already many
delegations like yours has come here, and we are so proud of that
and so honored by that. The President of Estonia was here and laid
a wreath. The President of Poland [was in town but had a conflict]
sent a delegation to present a wreath. The foreign ministers of
Latvia, Lithuania and Hungary have also laid wreaths here, and so
within next week or so, the foreign minister of Slovakia. As well
as many delegations like yours, citizens, Chinese Vietnamese and
Cubans, and on and on. So we hope that for years to come, for decades
to come, that more and more will come here and address themselves
to the memorial.
Let me just say one final time And that is...that building on
this success, and it was a great success, all over the world people
were commenting about this. As matter of fact we were criticized
by both the Chinese communists and also by the Russian communists,
who said “you shouldn’t do this”. And so we felt that, well, if
both the Chinese communists and Russian communists say “you are
doing the wrong thing”, we must be doing the right thing.[Applauds].
And now the next thing we should be doing is to create, what we
called the global virtual museum on communism, on
the Internet – and we are in the process of doing this and hope
to launch that next year. And via Network to connect all the museums
and institutions concerned with the victims of communism, and also
there will be education tools to help young people, particularly
young people, to teach them what communism was and still is.
Because we are committing ourselves to educating this and future
generations about the history, philosophy and the legacy of communism.
We feel that once that is done, this kind of tyranny will never
again come and we can all hopefully l live in freedom, liberty and
Thank you very much for coming, we welcome you and look forward
to work with you in the years to come.
Transcription by Constantin C. Chipev, Ph.D.
(for details (in Bulgarian) on the opening ceremony June 12 2007
written by Nasya Kralevska or ask Google on the Internet).