The Corner

Lest We Forget

Any time I write about Reagan or Thatcher, I get e-mails like these. I find

them very moving. I post this one here, with identifying information

removed to avoid giving embarrassment, just as a reminder of what was won in

the 1980s. “Victory in the Cold War” is a nice phrase; here is the human

reality. The writer is responding to my yesterday piece about 1979.

“John—Thank you so much for the beautiful article. I was only [age] then

but my father spoke to me many times about 1979 and Reagan, Thatcher and the

Pope. I grew up loving, admiring and worshiping these people. Thanks to them

communism collapsed in eastern Europe and in my native country of Albania

and I came in USA. May God bless these people and the USA.”

I sent a brief e-mail to thank the writer. I mentioned the fact that

Albania is beginning to get her act together. He responded with this:

“John—Yes it’s true that Albania has began to do well specially after the

catastrophic set back of the pyramid scheme and violence that follow it in

1997. There is a lot of corruption and most of the government officials and

nouveau-riche are former communists. EU membership is possible but as a

friend of mine who works for the EU in Brussels told me, it will take a

decade or more. Hopefully Albania will be a NATO member sooner than that.

On a personal note, my family suffered immensely from communism and we

always dreamed of coming to America … I came here in [early 1990s], went

to college and love this country so much for all it did for us during

communism and the opportunity it gave me here. Perhaps I am one of the few

that still believe the Vietnam War was right and those soldiers died for a

noble cause. I consider them my heroes because indirectly they died for me

and my family in the war against communism…”

But while we congratulate ourselves — justly — on what was achieved, let’s

spare a thought for the millions of poor souls still suffering under

Leninism in Cuba and North Korea, in Vietnam and Laos, in China, Tibet and

Eastern Turkestan.

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