WASHINGTON, DC --- On November 20, 2008, the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation (VOCMF) and the Embassy of Ukraine jointly hosted a reception to honor this year’s recipients of the annual Truman-Reagan Medal of Freedom. Nearly one hundred and fifty guests from several dozen nations and ethnic communities attended, including diplomats from over half a dozen countries.
This year’s Truman-Reagan Medals were awarded to Kateryna Yushchenko, the First Lady of Ukraine; Paula Dobriansky, Undersecretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs; and Midge Decter, author and founder of the Committee on the Free World. Ukrainian Ambassador Oleh Shamshur accepted the medal on behalf of Mrs. Yushchenko. Undersecretary of State Patrick F. Kennedy accepted on behalf of Dr. Dobriansky who was away on official travel. Heritage Foundation president Dr. Edwin J. Feulner presented the medal to Mrs. Decter, who was accompanied by her husband Norman Podhoretz of Commentary magazine renown, and members of their family.
In addition to saluting these three champions of freedom, the event also commemorated the estimated seven to ten million victims of the Ukrainian famine-genocide, which took place in the 1930's. The catastrophic event is now referred to as the “Holodomor,” the Ukrainian word for famine. This year marks the 75th anniversary of this tragedy, which a recent European Parliament resolution described as an "artificial" famine "cynically and cruelly planned" by Moscow.
Mrs. Yushchenko reflected on this tragedy in a November 20 letter to the VOCMF by stating that the “terror created by the Holodomor haunts the psychology of the Ukrainian nation to this day. And despite volumes of testimonies…there are still those who strive to deny its very occurrence.”
VOCMF chairman Dr. Lee Edwards used the opportunity to give a progress report on the Foundation’s activities, including plans to build the online Global Museum on Communism (GMOC), which is being prepared for launching during the spring of 2009. For more information on the GMOC, please visit the preview site at: http://www.globalmuseumoncommu...
The reception was held at the Ukraine Embassy building, formerly known as the Forrest-Marbury House, the site of one of the United States' most significant historical events--the establishment of the federal city of Washington, D.C. in 1791.
Photos of the November 20 event available at: http://victimsofcommunism.org/...
Embassy of Ukraine co-hosted 10th annual Truman-Reagan awards reception