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Friday, 23 May 2014 13:36

House passes "Black Ribbon Day" legislation to honor victims of Soviet & Nazi crimes

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The U.S. House of Representatives passed May 22 H.R. 4435, the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which included an amendment by Congressman John Shimkus (R-IL) aimed at recognizing the victims of Soviet Communist and Nazi regimes and designating August 23 as the “Black Ribbon Day”.

“Congress supports the designation of ‘‘Black Ribbon Day’’ to recognize the victims of Soviet Communist and Nazi regimes”, the legislation reads.

The amendment also stresses that the memories of Europe’s tragic past cannot be forgotten in order to honor the victims, condemn the perpetrators, and lay the foundation for reconciliation based on truth and remembrance.

“August 23 would be an appropriate date to designate as ‘‘Black Ribbon Day’’ to remember and never forget the terror millions of citizens in Central and Eastern Europe experienced for more than 40 years by ruthless military, economic, and political repression of the people through arbitrary executions, mass arrests, deportations, the suppression of free speech, confiscation of private property, and the destruction of cultural and moral identity and civil society, all of which deprived the vast majority of the peoples of Central and Eastern Europe of their basic human rights and dignity, separating them from the democratic world by means of the Iron Curtain and the Berlin Wall.”

The 2015 National Defense Authorization Act, including Shimkus’s amendment, passed the House with 325 votes, and will now be considered in the Senate.

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