Washington, D.C. – The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation announced on July 19 that it reached its fund-raising goal of $825,000 and expects to begin construction on its Memorial to the more than 100 million victims of communism this September.
“This is an all-important milestone in the history of the Foundation,” said VOCMF Foundation Chairman Lee Edwards, “made possible by the generous support of an extraordinary coalition of patriotic individuals and ethnic communities, foundations and corporations, foreign governments and even political parties. Our memorial is truly an international memorial.”
Hungarian American Coalition President, Maximilian Teleki said, “HAC and our members were very proud to participate in the VOCMF along with many other organizations and individuals over the past several years. We are delighted to see the VOCMF’s hard work pay off. We salute everyone who made this possible, especially Dr. Lee Edwards.”
The Foundation has applied to the National Park Service for a construction permit and expects to receive permission to proceed with ground-breaking in September. Dedication of the Memorial is scheduled for June 2007, the 20th anniversary of President Ronald Reagan’s historic Brandenburg Gate speech when he said, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”
“Washington is a city of memorials and monuments to great events and great leaders,” said Edwards. “How fitting that our Memorial with its bronze replica of the Goddess of Democracy erected in Tiananmen Square in 1989 will be located on Capitol Hill within view of the U.S. Capitol.”
The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, a non-profit organization, was established by an Act of Congress to build a memorial in Washington, DC to commemorate the more than 100 million victims of communism; to honor those who successfully resisted communist tyranny; to educate current and future generations about communism’s crimes against humanity; and to pay tribute to those who helped win the Cold War.
Its national and international advisory councils include prominent members such as Jeane Kirkpatrick, Bob Dole, Claiborne Pell, Mrs. Lane Kirkland, Vaclav Havel, Lech Walesa, Elena Bonner and Vytautas Landsbergis. The Foundation’s Honorary Chairman is President George W. Bush.