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19/06/2009: Embassy Lays Wreath at Victims of Communism Memorial in Washington D.C. to Honor Filipino Victims of Communist Atrocities

19 June 2009. Representatives from the Philippine Embassy in Washington D.C. laid a wreath at the Victims of Communism Memorial on 16 June 2009 to honor Filipino victims of communist atrocities. The wreath laying ceremony was part of a series of events hosted by the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation that day to commemorate the second anniversary of the dedication of the Victims of Communism Memorial which is located at the corner of New Jersey and Massachusetts Avenues NW in Washington D.C.

Commenting on the event, Philippine Ambassador to the United States Willy C. Gaa said, “As a country that has to deal with acts of terrorism and atrocities committed by members of the communist New People’s Army (NPA) under the leadership and direction of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), the Philippine Government deemed it proper to honor the memory of the innocent civilians and former communist rebels that have been killed, tortured and harassed by the CPP/NPA. It is unfortunate to note that other than international organizations such as Human Rights Watch, the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation and a few local organizations in the Philippines that don’t get much media exposure, very little attention is given to the suffering and plight of victims and relatives of victims of atrocities committed by the CPP/NPA and of the accountability and responsibility of the CPP/NPA for these violations of human rights. Through this simple gesture, the Philippine Government wishes it to be known that it has not forgotten these victims and we will be doing all that we can to help them attain closure and justice.”

The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, a non-profit educational organization, was established by an Act of Congress with overwhelming bi-partisan support to build a memorial in Washington, D.C. to commemorate the more than 100 million victims of communism. HR 3000, co-sponsored by Representative Dana Rohrabacher, Representative Robert Toricelli, Senator Claiborne Pell, and Senator Jesse Helms, became Section 905 of Public Law 103-199, which passed unanimously in December 17, 1993. The bill was then signed into law by U.S. President Bill Clinton. It was renewed through Section 326 of PL 105-277, approved October 21, 1998, until December 17, 2007.The Victims of Communism Memorial was dedicated by President George W. Bush on June 12, 2007. The dedication ceremony featured the unveiling of the "Goddess of Democracy," a bronze replica of a statue erected by Chinese students in Tiananmen Square, Beijing, China in the spring of 1989.

The mission of The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation is to educate this generation and future generations about the history, philosophy, and legacy of communism. The Foundation is currently developing The Global Museum on Communism, the first museum on the Internet dedicated to telling the complete story of communism. It will include exhibits on each nation and people that suffered under communism and a global Victims Registry. The exhibits will include interactive timelines, maps, and archives. END.

The Victims of Communism Memorial at the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue and New Jersey Avenue, NW on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Lee Edwards, Chairman of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, addressing the crowd at the second anniversary of the dedication of the Victims of Communism Memorial.

Philippine Embassy’s Minister Carlos Sorreta and Consul Gines Gallaga laying a wreath in honor of Filipino victims of communist atrocities at the Victims of Communism Memorial.