To read about F's and my London trip, start here and click "newer post" to continue the story.

Monday, November 09, 2009

John F. Kennedy, 1963:

Two thousand years ago the proudest boast was civis Romanus sum [I am a Roman citizen]. Today, in the world of freedom, the proudest boast is Ich bin ein Berliner... All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin, and, therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words Ich bin ein Berliner!

Ronald Reagan, 1987:

We welcome change and openness; for we believe that freedom and security go together, that the advance of human liberty can only strengthen the cause of world peace. There is one sign the Soviets can make that would be unmistakable, that would advance dramatically the cause of freedom and peace. General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization, come here to this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!

George H.W. Bush, 1989:

Just as the barriers are coming down in Hungary, so must they fall throughout all of Eastern Europe. Let Berlin be next—let Berlin be next!

Bill Clinton 1999:

We are here today to celebrate the ideal we cherish above all others - human freedom - and to celebrate the day that ideal triumphed in one city in the heart of Europe. We must remember the role America played in the victory of freedom in Europe, and all we've done since to help realize its promise. Most important, we must reaffirm our determination to finish the job.

George H.W. Bush, 2009:

The point needs to be made that the historic events we are gathered to celebrate were set in motion not in Bonn, or Moscow or Washington but rather in the hearts and minds of the people who had too long been deprived of their God-given rights.

The Wall could never erase your dream, our dream of one Germany, a free Germany, a proud Germany.

Barack Obama, 2009:

Doody doody doo.

***Edited to add:

In a surpise video appearance yesterday, Obama did address the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall:

Few would have foreseen ... that a united Germany would be led by a woman from Brandenburg or that their American ally would be led by a man of African descent.

(Because it's about him, isn't it?)

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