Tuesday, July 24, 2012

“Reagan should have a monument in every city” says Walesa as another Gipper statue unveiled in Eastern Europe

The Gdansk statue of Ronald Reagan is the second major statue to be unveiled in Poland — this one in the company of fellow Cold Warrior John Paul II — after that in Warsaw, and at least the fourth such commemoration of the Gipper in Eastern Europe, after Warsaw, Prague, and Budapest (the Hungarian capital has two statues of Reagan, as it also sports a bust of the former actor), not to mention the Reagan statue in London.

The Associated Press reports that
Polish officials unveiled a statue of former President Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II on Saturday, honoring two men widely credited in this Eastern European country with helping to topple communism 23 years ago.

The statue was unveiled in Gdansk, the birthplace of Lech Walesa’s Solidarity movement, in the presence of about 120 former Solidarity activists, many of whom were imprisoned in the 1980s for their roles in organizing or taking part in strikes against the communist regime.

Reagan and John Paul shared a conviction that communism was a moral evil, not just a bad economic system. And Lech Walesa, founder of the Solidarity movement that led the anti-communist struggle in Poland, has often paid homage to both men and told the AP in a recent interview that he deeply respected Reagan.

“Reagan should have a monument in every city,” Walesa said.