June 12 Wreath Laying Ceremony to Honor the Victims of Communism Worldwide; Tribute to Donald Rumsfeld and Gulag Exhibit Preview

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Donald Rumsfeld, Former U.S. Secretary of Defense, and Annette Lantos, Chairman of the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice, will headline a list of speakers and guests from Capitol Hill and Washington’s diplomatic corps at a June 12, 2012 10:00 a.m. EDT wreath laying ceremony at the Victims of Communism Memorial (located on Capitol Hill, see victimsofcommunism.org for map and directions).

Dedication of the Victims of Communism Memorial on June 12, 2007

Former U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld will be awarded the Truman-Reagan Medal of Freedom from the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation.

Donald Rumsfeld, Former U.S. Secretary of Defense, and Annette Lantos, Chairman of the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice, will headline a list of speakers and guests from Capitol Hill and Washington’s diplomatic corps at a June 12, 2012 10:00 a.m. EDT wreath laying ceremony at the Victims of Communism Memorial (located on Capitol Hill, see http://www.victimsofcommunism.org for map and directions).

Secretary Rumsfeld will be awarded the Truman-Reagan Medal of Freedom from the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation during the ceremony. The medal is given to individuals who have distinguished themselves in opposing communism and tyranny. Annette Lantos accepted the medal in 2008 on behalf of her husband, the late Congressman Tom Lantos. Other previous medal recipients include Lech Walesa, Vaclav Havel, Elena Bonner, Pope John Paul II, William F. Buckley Jr., Sen. Henry “Scoop” Jackson, Sen. Jesse Helms, Sen. Joseph Lieberman and Former Majority Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives Steny Hoyer.

The ceremony marks the fifth anniversary of the Victims of Communism Memorial. During the 2007 dedication event, Rep. Tom Lantos joined President George W. Bush and Rep. Dana Rohrabacher as dedication speakers before an international crowd of nearly one thousand.

Dr. Lee Edwards, Chairman of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, stated that the outpouring of support by Members of Congress and the diplomatic corps during past ceremonies has been “phenomenal.” More than two dozen nations and peoples have been represented during past annual events. The memorial honors the more than 100 million victims of communism.

Ambassadors and diplomats from an array of formerly communist nations, along with leaders of numerous American-based groups and representatives from the still-communist nations of Cuba, China, Vietnam, North Korea and captive Tibet, are expected to participate this year.

Following the ceremony, a preview of the upcoming virtual Gulag exhibit for the online Global Museum on Communism will be presented during a luncheon at the nearby Heritage Foundation. The press is invited to both events. The online museum was launched in June 2009.

The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation is dedicated to educating this generation and future generations about the history, philosophy and legacy of communism.

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Ed Priola
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