It was an honor yesterday to speak at the Hungarian 1956 memorial celebration in Wallingford, CT, USA. For those interested, here are my full remarks: here.
This year I had the whole history of communism on my mind since it's the 100th Anniversary of the Russian Revolution. I'm lucky to be reminded of this by the Victims of Communism Foundation's 100th anniversary commemoration in DC this year in November (learn more here).
I find it interesting that many of these revolutions occurred in the Fall. The Russian Revolution of 1917 broke out in earnest in October-November that year. The Hungarian 1956 Freedom Fight was in October-November that year. And the Berlin Wall opened in October-November of 1989. Probably it's just that Fall is a good time to be on the streets: summer is too hot, winter too cold, spring too wet... Who knows? But it makes for a little bit of poetry when we remember both the establishment, revolt against and collapse of communism all in the same month(s) every year.
This year I asked our scholarship students from Poland and Hungary to help me look up the numbers of people who died under communist regimes. It was astounding. The conservative estimates are around 95 million people murdered by communist regimes over the past hundred years! Amazing and sad.
When you combine those numbers with the realization that communist regimes still exist today in places like North Korea, Cuba and even China, it's heartbreaking.
Pray for the people still trapped in those regimes around the world. And let's end communism so those people and their children can know freedom. To do that, I believe, we have to defeat both the ideology (wherever it shows up...at home and abroad) and the governments that use it to justify their authoritarian regimes.