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Remembering communism’s 100 million casualties

Lee Edwards urges readers of his Daily Signal column never to forget communism’s worldwide death toll.

You know you’re doing the right thing when your enemies condemn you.

When President George W. Bush 13 years ago on June 12, 2007, dedicated a U.S. memorial in Washington, D.C., to the more than 100 million victims of communism, both the Chinese communists and the Russian communists immediately attacked the president and the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation. …

… Tellingly, what neither the Chinese communists nor the Russian communist boss tried to do was to deny the bloody crimes of communist imperialism. After stating that “we the living have a solemn obligation to the victims to acknowledge their sacrifice and honor their memory,” Bush listed some of communism’s victims. …

… Since the dedication of the memorial 13 years ago, national leaders from around the world have visited the site to lay a wreath and offer a silent prayer. Ethnic groups from every continent have held rallies and candlelight ceremonies for their fallen brethren.

Each June, representatives of more than 20 foreign embassies and dozens of anti-communist organizations have participated in a memorial service, recommitting themselves to the words at the base of the memorial: “To the Freedom and Independence of all Captive Peoples and Nations.” …

… Each June brings the world closer to that day when communism finally will be dumped on the ash heap of history, and freedom will take its place in the five countries that still groan under communist dictatorship—China, North Korea, Vietnam, Laos, and Cuba.

How can we be sure that day will come? We remember the words of the East German communist boss Erich Honecker, who boasted in January 1989 that the Berlin Wall would stand for at least another 100 years. Before the year was out, the Berlin Wall had fallen, and Honecker was under house arrest.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...

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