A bust of dictator Joseph Stalin has been placed at the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford despite public protest over its presence.
Residents and leaders in Bedford have spoken out against installing the Stalin piece at the memorial.
Annie Pollard, a Bedford County supervisor who has volunteered at the memorial, said Wednesday it has been a source of controversy in Bedford and she feels its presence is “a slap in the face to all these other people we honor and remember.”
“I just don’t think it belongs on the hill with them,” Pollard. “To me, he (Stalin) is just a murderer. I just can’t see how he fits in with the memorial. They are people we want to remember. He’s someone I’d rather forget.”
“It’s a disgrace and a dishonor to the veterans,” Morrison said of the Stalin bust.
Morrison said he respects the importance of remembering history but the memorial’s sole purpose is to honor the valor, fidelity and sacrifice of D-Day veterans.
“It’s not a history museum, it’s not a wax museum,” said Morrison.
The plaque that accompanies the Stalin bust reads: “In memory of the tens of millions who died under Stalin’s rule and in tribute to all whose valor, fidelity, and sacrifice denied him and his successors victory in the cold war.”
And from Pilot Online:
Some veterans say the bust of Stalin tarnishes the memorial and threatens its ability to raise money, even as it is struggling to stay afloat financially. The memorial’s overseers are trying to persuade the National Park Service to take control of the site.
Stalin is credited by historians with helping to start World War II by signing a peace pact with Hitler and Germany. When Hitler later betrayed him, launching an attack against the Soviet Union, Stalin joined the Allies. Before and after the war, Stalin was known for his purge of political enemies and innocent civilians alike.
Update: Locals are lodging formal complaints against the bust