Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation Salutes President Lech Walesa
March 28, 2006
William F. Buckley, Midge Decter, Steve Forbes, Sen. Chuck Hagel, Jack Kemp, Sen. Joseph Lieberman,
NEW YORK, NY -- For his inspiring courage and leadership in helping to end communism and advance freedom and democracy worldwide, Lech Walesa, Solidarity founder, Nobel Laureate, and former President of Poland, will be honored by the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation with a gala reception at New York City's landmark Metropolitan Club on Wednesday evening, April 26, 2006.
Lech Walesa's contributions to ending communism and the Cold War in Europe stand beside those of Pope John Paul II, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, and President Ronald Reagan. By founding and leading the 10-million-member Solidarity movement that ended communist leadership in Poland, Walesa earned the Nobel Peace Prize in 1983, the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1989, and Time Magazine's "Man of the Year" in 1982. In 1990, as Poland's first democratically elected president, Walesa set the newly-independent nation on the path to becoming a free market democracy. Today, Walesa travels the world and speaks to audiences on behalf of the Lech Walesa Institute, a foundation that advances the ideals of democracy and free market reform throughout Eastern Europe and the rest of the world.
The reception will benefit the VOC Foundation's construction of a permanent statue and plaza in Washington, D.C., to memorialize the more than 100 million victims of communism worldwide. Sponsors include Pfizer Inc., Phillips International, LOT Airlines, Pew Charitable Trusts, Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, Shelby Collum Davis Foundation, Earhart Foundation, Freda Utley Foundation, World Federation of Free Latvians, and many other ethnic American organizations.
The VOC Memorial Plaza will feature a 10-foot bronze replica of the "Democracy" statue erected by Chinese students in Tiananmen Square in 1989, and based on the U.S. Statue of Liberty. The plaza is expected to become a key destination for visitors from around the world, and will be located on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC at the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue NW, New Jersey Avenue NW, and G Street NW, across from the Georgetown University Law Center and two blocks from Union Station.
"Lech Walesa is a pioneer of democracy in Eastern Europe, as well as a leader in the global transition to democracy," said VOC Foundation Chairman Dr. Lee Edwards. "We are honored that our celebration of his historic legacy will enable us to help raise the funds necessary to build a Memorial that will ensure that the sacrifices of over 100 million innocent people will never be forgotten."
The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation is a non-profit organization 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. Donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.
WHAT: Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation's gala reception to salute H.E. Lech Walesa