Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Signs VOC Day Bill

On May 9, 2022, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill into law that designates November 7 as “Victims of Communism Memorial Day” in remembrance of and honoring those who have died and suffered under communist regimes.

Governor DeSantis said at the bill signing, “Today, I established November 7th as Victims of Communism Day to honor those who have suffered under communism and remind people of the destruction communism has caused worldwide, including a death toll exceeding 100 million. In Florida, we will tell the truth about communism.”

The Florida State Legislature passed SB 268, led in the House by Representative David Borrero and in the Senate by Senator Manny Diaz, in March. With Florida Governor DeSantis signature of the bill, Florida became the fifth state to officially recognize November 7 as “Victims of Communism Memorial Day.”

“Commemorating this day not only honors those who have suffered, but it also helps educate American youth to have an understanding of communism and an appreciation for democracy,” said Amb. Andrew Bremberg, President and CEO of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation. “I applaud Gov. DeSantis and Florida lawmakers for making this important designation.”

To date, Alabama, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and now Florida have passed resolutions to officially recognize November 7 as “Victims of Communism Memorial Day.” Eight others—Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Illinois, Missouri, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina—are moving to do the same.

VOC Memorial Day is designed to raise awareness and educate the American people—and the world—about the real threats to freedom we face now, and the crimes perpetrated by communist regimes in the 20th century and that continue today in countries such as China, Cuba, Laos, North Korea, Venezuela, and Vietnam. November 7 was chosen as Victims of Communism Memorial Day to mark the day in 1917 when the Bolsheviks seized power in Russia, which led to the creation of the world’s first communist government. On November 7, we remember those who have suffered and died at the hands of communist regimes in the past, and renew our commitment to stand up for those who are fighting for freedom today.

This initiative follows the signing last year by Governor DeSantis of a bill requiring that all Florida schools teach their students about the crimes of communist regimes. The legislation, which was championed by the VOC, requires schools to include in their curriculum a comparative discussion of the political ideologies of communism and totalitarianism with the principles of freedom and democracy essential to the founding principles of the United States.