From the News & Messenger:
BEDFORD, Va. (AP) — The National D-Day Memorial plans to reinstall a bust of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin that drew opposition from veterans groups, local officials and some lawmakers.
Memorial President Robin Reed told The News & Advance that the bust will be included in a new Allied leaders section. The new exhibit also will include busts of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, Harry S. Truman, Charles de Gaulle, Clement Attlee and Chiang Kai-shek.
The exhibit is expected to open in 2011. Reed says memorial officials are still working on the design.
The Stalin bust was originally installed at the memorial in June. The bust was removed in September after veterans groups and others protested its display.
I dislike Stalin as much as the next guy. My father, a WWII vet, also hated Stalin. The family joke around the house was always if only people had listened to Churchill, Patton and my father, we would not have the problems we are having (cold war). However, to deny his existence in WWII is a little much. There is also the point of view that we might not have won had Stalin not been in the picture.
Countries are often morally compromised in wartime. They often find themselves in alliance with dubious characters. In times of war, most countries aren’t in the position to take the high road.
This new area of the D-Day Memorial sounds like a good plan and a compromise. Donations were down significantly because of the Stalin bust. It was removed after much controversy. We can’t ignore the fact that the dictator was an ally((well, sort of) and we also don’t want to allow his wretched presence to stand over a memorial to our heroes and our war dead.
Stalin was a killer. Historians make a good case for him being worse than Hitler in sheer number of people killed under his orders. No glory or honor for him is deserved. Let there be a ‘leaders’ section.’ That will just have to do. Perhaps the controversy has been good for the country. We need to not forget the evil that some men do.
(The removal of the bust of Stalin was in 2010.)