On November 7, 1917, Vladimir Lenin led Bolshevik forces to seize power in Russia by capturing government offices in Saint Petersburg. The Bolshevik Revolution was complete and the Soviet Union came into being. Many have argued that for this reason, November 7th should be the internationally-recognized Victims of Communism Memorial Day.
Since that day, numerous communist regimes cropped up around the globe during the 20th Century which led to an estimated 80 to 100 million casualties from socialist policies. Even after the collapse of the Soviet Union, many communist regimes continue to hold power and exert influence around the world. The Chinese Communist Party continues to expand its reach after surpassing the Soviet Union with its death toll, leading to a new cold war as many countries scramble to correct decades of free trade agreements with a future great power adversary.
In order to help safeguard future lives which may be lost from the implementation of socialist policies in societies around the globe, there is the obvious need to educate and raise awareness about such historical and current threats. Therefore, many advocate for using November 7th as the Victims of Communism Memorial Day. However, there is also the perspective that May 1st should hold this day to counter communist celebrations which take place on that day. May 1st is often used as a day by communists to celebrate their ideology more broadly, without specific reference to the Soviet Union. As such, it would make sense to many to hold a counter holiday on the same day to help push back on the celebration of death with a memorial day commemorating lives lost.
The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation chooses to recognize November 7th as the appropriate day of remembrance, and has made efforts to pass legislation throughout the United States to officially recognize this holiday. So far, they have achieved this goal in a number of states and have bills proposed in several others. Peoples all around the world can commemorate this day by reading history, learning about the ideology of communism, and taking a moment of silence to remember the untold lives lost at the hands of communist forces to this day.
Do you think the Victims of Communism Memorial Day makes more sense on November 7th or May 1st? The November date is already more widely used, so this may be a moot point. I do think there is merit in advocating for a May 1st date to directly oppose the death celebration with a remembrance of life. Nevertheless, the November date is the one which is gaining traction, and ultimately, either would be valid.
All posts by The Pen and Sword are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.