President Ronald Reagan on June 12, 1987 gave an address in front of the Brandenberg Gate in West Berlin:
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 — Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!
And two years later the wall did fall.
President Obama decided that since he isn’t running for President anymore that he doesn’t need to go to the Berlin Wall, nor would it fit with an apology tour. Governor Sarah Palin does understand, however, the importance of this anniversary noting on Facebook early this morning:
Twenty years ago, the ultimate symbol of the division between freedom and tyranny was torn down. The Berlin Wall was constructed for one purpose: to prevent the escape of East Germans to the freedom of the West. The Wall’s cold, gray façade was a stark reminder of the economic and political way of life across the Soviet Union’s sphere of influence in Eastern Europe.
Ronald Reagan never stopped regarding the Berlin Wall as an affront to human freedom. When so many other American leaders and opinion makers had come to accept its presence as inevitable and permanent, Reagan still hammered away at the Wall’s very premise in human tyranny, until finally the Wall itself was hammered down. Its downfall wasn’t the work of Reagan alone. Our president’s actions were joined with the brave acts of many individuals who stood firm and united in facing the Soviet Union. The Berlin Wall came down because millions of people behind the Iron Curtain refused to accept the fate of enslavement and their supporters in the West refused to accept that the “captive nations” would remain captive forever.
Though that long, tragic episode in human history had come to a close finally with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, it wasn’t the “end of history” or the end of conflict as some had hoped. New conflicts confront us today throughout the world which call for courage and resolve and dedication to freedom. The new democracies and market economies that have emerged in Central and Eastern Europe still require our friendship and alliances as they continue to seek security, prosperity, and self-determination. But as we reflect on present and future challenges, let’s take time to celebrate the anniversary of this awesome victory for freedom. The downfall of that cold, gray concrete Wall should be a lesson to us in hope. Nothing is inevitable. Tyranny is no match for the hope and resolve of those who work and fight for freedom.
– Sarah Palin
Now if only our current President would understand what President Reagan knew and Governor Palin recognizes that we need “courage and resolve and dedication to freedom.” We need it in Afghanistan, and we need it with the threats we now face with Iran and North Korea.
Related, see this article at the UK’s Daily Mail Online by Melanie Phillips: “We were fools to think the fall of the Berlin Wall had killed off the far Left. They’re back – and attacking us from within.”