Flashback to my 80s teenage years ... a world locked in a shadowy bi-polar power struggle. On one side, a collection of democracies in North America, Western Europe and the Asian Pacific. On the other, a global collection of dictatorships espousing an adaptation of the socialist philsophies espoused by Karl Marx.
I was probably more aware of the atrocities committed by the communist dictatorships than most teenagers, and was amazed at how the whole house of cards collapsed at the end of my high school years. Since the disintegration of the Soviet Union, as well as the Warsaw Pact by which they held much of central Europe in captivity, the number of democracies has doubled, and the threat of global nuclear war has virtually vanished.
The courage of our late beloved Pope John Paul in defying the Soviet Empire during those years was one of the reasons I converted to Catholicism.
That's not to say there's a still a lot to do. The world is a more peaceful place, but barely, and while there's no "Empire of Evil", evil still lurks in the world. Given time and the efforts of people of courage everywhere, good will ultimately triumph. But so long as we don't face imminent extinction in a global nuclear shoot-out, my children start their lives with better prospects for their future than my generation did.
Recently, approval was given to erect a memorial in Washington, D.C. to the millions who were killed by communist dictatorships. The statue is modeled after the Goddess of Democracy statue erected by students at Tianenmen Square in Beijing in 1989, some of whom were martyred at the hands of Chinese soldiers who crushed their pro-democracy protests. Go check it out, and if you can, please help support their efforts to make sure those who died and what they died for is not forgotten.
LINX TO CZECH OUT:
Victims of Communism Memorial Fund