From 7 to 9 November over thousand people, including diplomats, members of the U.S. Congress, historians as well as freedom and human rights defenders gathered in Washington D.C. to commemorate „Victims of Communism”. The initiative was lunched by the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation on the 100th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution.
Main part of the ceremony, i.e. the conference titled ‚”Reflections on a Ravaged Century” (8-9 November) was held in the U.S. Congress Library. During the conference, Amb. Paula Dobriansky, dr Alan Charles Kors, HE Vytautas Landsbergis, dr Arkady Ostrovsky and Peter Robinson gave their speeches to the audience.
On Tuesday (7th November), i.e the exact day of the centennial anniversary of the revolution, the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation organized official dinner for diplomats, American politicians, democratic opposition activists and the representatives of East-Central European states which were in the past under influence of Moscow. During the meeting, Polish State was represented by the Secretary of State - senator Anna Maria Anders.
On the very same day Marcy Kaptur, member of the Democratic Party from Ohio at the House of Representatives, along with other representatives from two American main political powers announced the establishment of the Victims Of Communism Caucus.
Members of the Caucus plan to concentrate on such issues as Russian expansionist policy towards Ukraine,Venezuela's economic crisis, human rights abuses in Cuba and the threat caused by North Korean nuclear program.
Three days of reflexions were finalized with the official dinner organized in the main hall at Union Station. Flags of the states participating in the centennial commemoration (i.e. Albania, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Georgia, Hungary, Israel, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, FYR Macedonia, Malta, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Ukraine, Great Britain and United States) were on display at the scene. The final speech was given by Niall Ferguson, professor of History at Oxford University and Harvard University.
Chairman dr. Lee Edwards and the executive director of the foundation Marion Smith, honoured Elena Zhemkova and Natan Sharansky with Truman-Reagan Medal of Freedom for their engagement in struggle for freedom and democracy as well as their resistance towards Communism and other forms of tyranny. In the video presented at the ceremony, former U.S. president George W. Bush also thank Sharansky and the foundation for their work and reminded to all of the participants that „freedom is valuable and cannot be taken for granted, that evil is real and we have to face it.”