WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Representative Dana Rohrabacher of California, Dr. Janos Horvath of Hungary and the late Tran Van Ba of South Vietnam are the 2007 recipients of the Truman-Reagan Medal of Freedom. The Medal of Freedom is awarded each year by the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation to those individuals and institutions that have demonstrated a life-long commitment to freedom and democracy and opposition to communism and all other forms of tyranny.
The presentations will be made Thursday evening, November 15, at the Embassy of Hungary with the Ambassador of Hungary, His Excellency Ferenc Somogyi, as co-host of the event.
Congressman Rohrabacher is a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and one of the four original Congressional co-sponsors of PL 103-199, which authorized the design and construction of an international memorial to the more than 100 million victims of communism. He was one of President Reagan's senior speechwriters and played a pivotal role in the formulation of the Reagan Doctrine and a strong national defense.
Dr. Horvath, who earned his Ph.D. in economics from Columbia University, is the senior member of the Hungarian Parliament. He fought in the Hungarian Independence Movement against Hitler and the Nazis during World War II and challenged the Communist-imposed dictatorship in Hungary in the late 1940s. He was a political leader of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 and then gained refuge in America. After living in the United States for a number of years, Dr. Horvath returned to his native land in 1998 and was re-elected to the Hungarian parliament where he first served in 1945.
Born in South Vietnam in 1945, Mr. Ba as a young man watched his country ravaged by the civil war waged by the North Vietnamese communists. In 1966, his father Tran Van Van, a respected member of the South Vietnamese parliament, was assassinated by the communists. Sent to France to complete his education, Mr. Ba returned to Vietnam in 1980 to continue the fight for freedom and democracy in his homeland. He was arrested in 1984 by the Communists who executed him on false charges of treason. A memorial has been erected to Mr. Ba in Liege, Belgium, and a street dedicated to him in Falls Church, Virginia, by the Vietnamese community.
Former recipients of the Truman-Reagan Medal of Freedom include Vaclav Havel, Lech Walesa, Elena Bonner, John Paul II, Senator Joseph Lieberman, Senator Jesse Helms, Senator Henry M. Jackson, Lane Kirkland, William F. Buckley Jr., Michael Novak, and Major General John Singlaub, USA (ret).
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Rohrabacher, Horvath, Ba Will Receive 2007 Truman-Reagan Medal Of Freedom