Site Will Remember Communism Victims
Byline: Tarron Lively, THE WASHINGTON TIMES
The groundbreaking ceremony for a memorial honoring the millions of people killed by communist regimes was held near the U.S. Capitol yesterday, an occasion that officials said was long-awaited and long overdue.
About 50 people converged on the intersection of Massachusetts and New Jersey avenues in Northwest, where the 10-foot bronze statue is expected to be erected by next summer.
Elected officials and representatives for the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, founded in 1994, took shovels in hand to officially begin the project, a joint effort by dozens of organizations and individuals.
"This is a historic day," said Lee Edwards, chairman of the nonprofit foundation, which spearheaded the project. "The memorial will serve to remind all of us that never again must nations and peoples permit so evil a tyranny to terrorize the world."
Paula J. Dobriansky, under secretary of state for democracy and global affairs, said communism "corroded the human experience in the 20th century."
Mrs. Dobriansky's father, the late Lev Dobriansky, a former ambassador to Bermuda, was instrumental in the push for the memorial.
She said the groundbreaking essentially signifies the end of the Cold War.
"The memorial built here will stand, after we no longer do," she said. "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 ultimately overcame it."
The foundation announced in July that it met its fundraising goal for the projected $900,000 memorial, which was authorized under a bill passed with bipartisan congressional support and signed into law by President Clinton in 1993.
"Today, we proclaim that communism is indeed dead, but we will never forget those who communism murdered during its brief life on this planet," said Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, California Republican, who sponsored the legislation that authorized the memorial.
The memorial is a replica of the "Goddess of Democracy" statue, which was modeled after the Statue of Liberty. …