Click to enlargepadMemorial to Victims of Communism Gets Green Light to Build

JBANC PRESS RELEASE: For Immediate Release
November 4, 2005
contact: Karl Altau (tel. 301-340-1954)

Washington, DC (JBANC) --- A memorial in Washington, DC to honor the victims of communism was given final clearance by a federal oversight body on Thursday, November 3. The National Capital Planning Commission moved unanimously to approve the design for the Memorial, to be built at a location on the corner of Massachusetts and New Jersey Avenues, N.W., just off Capitol Hill.
With the decision, construction of the memorial is now expected to begin by April 2006. According to Dr. Lee Edwards, chairman of the Memorial Foundation responsible for fundraising and future maintenance of the site, the memorial would be unveiled about a year from now. The memorial will feature a Democracy statue atop a stone pedestal, within a 900 square foot paved plaza. A historical marker at the site will provide background information.

It is estimated that 100 million persons perished at the hands of various communist regimes in the 20th century.

The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation has also announced that it will hold its seventh annual Truman-Reagan Medal of Freedom Awards ceremony in Washington, DC on December 13th. The event will be held at the Polish Embassy, as this yearís focus is on Polish contributions to the fight to end communism. 2005 Truman-Reagan medal honorees are the Solidarity Free Trade Union of 1980, Gdansk, and noted Polish-American, retired Army General and former Ambassador Edward Rowny. Pope John Paul II will be awarded posthumously. Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo, Apostolic Nuncio in the U.S, will accept for the late Pope.

In preparation for these events, Foundation chairman Edwards was joined by JBANC Managing Director Karl Altau for a series of informational meetings in Chicago with leaders of both the Polish-American and Lithuanian-American communities. Dr. Edwards also gave presentations on plans for the Memorial at October 22 events organized in Chicago by the Lithuanian American Council in commemoration of that organizationís 90th anniversary.

For more information on the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, or if you wish to contribute to the building of the memorial, please visit:

JBANC represents the Estonian American National Council, Inc., the American Latvian Association, Inc. and the Lithuanian American Council, Inc.


Photo caption:

Meeting at Polish National Alliance on October 21, 2005. From left are JBANC Managing Director Karl Altau; Polish National Alliance President Frank J. Spula; Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation (VOCMF) Chairman Dr. Lee Edwards; founding member of American Polish Advisory Council and former advisor to Solidarity leadership on behalf of the Foundation for Free Speech Dr. Michael Szporer; Polish American Youth organization Vice President and VOCMF Chicago liaison Beata Debek; and Polish National Alliance Treasurer Casimir J. Musielak. On October 28, Mr. Spula was also elected as President of the Polish American Congress.

Octobr 17, 2008 - President Bush Discusses the Visa Waiver Program
Office of the Press Secretary/ White House News

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all. (Applause.) Please be seated, thank you. Welcome to the White House. I'm pleased to stand with the representatives of seven countries -- the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, and South Korea -- that have met the requirements to be admitted to the United States Visa Waiver Program. Soon the citizens of these nations will be able to travel to the United States for business or tourism without a visa. I congratulate these close friends and allies on this achievement, and I thank you for joining us here.

I also thank Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of the Homeland -- Department of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff for working hard to make sure this day has finally arrived. Appreciate other members of the administration here and members of the Diplomatic Corps.

The Joint Baltic American National Committee, Inc.
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