February 11th is a date of reflection for all Iranians. Today, thirty-one years ago, Iran underwent a revolution that would bring to power a radical regime and compel hundreds of thousands of Iranians to flee their homeland.
Iranian Jews who immigrated to the United States were the lucky ones. Over the last three decades, Iranian-American Jews have embodied the modern-day American Dream. We have rebuilt our lives and communities, graduated from elite American universities, founded successful businesses, and contributed philanthropically and culturally to American society. February 11th reminds us how fortunate our community is to have left Iran when we did and how much of a blessing America is.
February 11th also magnifies the suffering and aspirations of the people of Iran today. We see those Iranians standing up bravely in pursuit of a political voice and social change as the brothers and sisters we left behind. Their fight must be ours; their redemption, our cause to be championed. As the Iranian regime continues to suppress its citizens, 30 Years After challenges all Americans, especially Iranian Americans and Jewish Americans, to utilize the tools of freedom absent in Iran – democracy, free press, and free speech – to ensure the events broadcast on CNN today – February 11th – are not just another news story.