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Ambassador Gandalovič Honoring the Victims of Communism

Czech Ambassador Petr Gandalovič with ambassadors and diplomats from 18 embassies, along with the leaders of numerous American-based groups and representatives from the still-communist nations of Cuba, China, Vietnam, North Korea and captive Tibet, took part at wreath laying ceremony at the Victims of Communism Memorial, located on Capitol Hill at Massachusetts Ave., New Jersey Ave.

Among other speakers were present also Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher of California, and Rep. Jim Bridenstine of Oklahoma. Yang Jianli, Ph. D., Founder and President of Initiatives for China, was awarded the 2013 Truman-Reagan Medal of Freedom at the commemoration. Dr. Yang has been widely recognized as a major leader of China's democracy movement and one of the most important international advocates for China's peaceful democratic transition. The medal is given to individuals who have distinguished themselves in opposing communism and tyranny. Previous medal recipients include Lech Walesa, Václav Havel, Elena Bonner, Pope John Paul II, William F. Buckley, Jr., Sen. Henry "Scoop" Jackson, Rep. Tom Lantos, Sen. Jesse Helms, Sen. Joseph Lieberman, Rep. Steny Hoyer, and Rep. Ros-Lehtinen. The ceremony marked the sixth anniversary of the dedication of the memorial. During the 2007 dedication, Rep. Tom Lantos joined President George W. Bush and Rep. Rohrabacher as dedication speakers before an international crowd of nearly one thousand.

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Wreath Laying Ceremony