11. June 2007 · Comments Off on A New Memorial is Dedicated Tomorrow · Categories: A Href, General

On June 12, 2007, a new memorial will be dedicated in Washington, D.C. Almost 20 years have passed from concept to reality, 14 years since then-President Clinton signed a bill donating land.

The monument for the memorial is a replica of the “Goddess of Democracy” statue erected by the Chinese students at Tiananmen Square. The memorial is the Victims of Communism Memorial, dedicated to the over 100 million people who were killed in Communism’s wars, revolutions, and purges.

The idea for the project came to [Lee] Edwards – once an aide to Barry Goldwater and now a fellow at the Heritage Foundation – two months after the Berlin Wall fell in 1989. “I was having Sunday brunch with my wife and one of my daughters,” he says. “We were concerned that people didn’t seem interested in discussing the crimes of Communism, and that a general amnesia was settling in everywhere.” On a paper napkin, he jotted down “memorial – victims of communism” and stuffed it into his pocket.

Originally planned along the lines of the Holocaust Museum, the lack of donations forced them to a smaller project. The monument will be in a small triangular park where Avenue G intersects New Jersey Avenue. When deciding upon an appropriate statue, they thought about trying to build a Gulag replica, the Berlin Wall, or a boat such as those used by those fleeing communist oppression. In the end, they decided on the Tiananmen Square statue as something that would be easily recognizable by many, and also stand as an indictment against China’s continuing commitment to Communist ideals (the Chinese government “expressed concerns … to Bush Administration officials,” but the design stands).

The sculptor, Thomas Marsh, agreed to work for free. “When I saw the courage of those students at Tiananmen Square, I made a vow that I would try to rebuild their statue,” he says. He produced a version that now stands in San Francisco’s Chinatown and has prepared castings of it for other sites. The version that will appear in the Victims of Communism Memorial is an armature, which means that it’s derived from his original but also contains unique qualities. “It’s the biggest of the bunch and the facial features look more like the one the students made,” says Marsh.

Representative Tom Lantos (D) will give the keynote address at the dedication. President G.W. Bush has been invited to speak.

h/t: Opinion Journal

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