Monday, November 9, 2009

The Fall of the Berlin Wall Began on June 12, 1987

Today is the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

But the wall's foundations first shook more than two years earlier when President Reagan spoke at the Brandenburg Gate on June 12, 1987 when he said, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall."

A whole generation of people have been born into this world since President Reagan uttered those words. A whole generation of people have been born into this world knowing the Berlin Wall as only a historical artifact.

Why is it that Barack Obama saw fit to travel to Berlin to give a speech during the 2008 presidential campaign? Why is it that he does not see fit to travel to Berlin to commemorate this truly historical event that symbolizes the triumph of liberty over totalitarianism?

The White House calls it a scheduling conflict. Is the Obama Administration telling us it didn't know today was the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall? Then again what can one expect of a President who thinks the U.S. liberated Auschwitz?

But it might be also that President Obama doesn't really get the historical significance of the Berlin Wall:

Yes, there have been differences between America and Europe. No doubt, there will be differences in the future. But the burdens of global citizenship continue to bind us together. A change of leadership in Washington will not lift this burden. In this new century, Americans and Europeans alike will be required to do more – not less. Partnership and cooperation among nations is not a choice; it is the one way, the only way, to protect our common security and advance our common humanity.

That is why the greatest danger of all is to allow new walls to divide us from one another.
The walls between old allies on either side of the Atlantic cannot stand. The walls between the countries with the most and those with the least cannot stand. The walls between races and tribes; natives and immigrants; Christian and Muslim and Jew cannot stand. These now are the walls we must tear down.

The Berlin Wall wasn't erected because of a mutual dislike for one another. It was erected by East German Communists to keep their people cloistered from freedom and under the thumb of totalitarianism. Those who tried to flee often paid with a bullet to the skull. The West did not seek Checkpoint Charlie.

Besides when Reagan demanded Gorbachev tear down the wall the State Department was aghast while the liberal media was dismissive.

It short it took old fashioned guts for Reagan to tell Mr. Gorbachev to tear down the wall. That, Mr. Obama, is called leadership. If Ronald Reagan had not spoken his peace then chances are we wouldn't be observing this day. The Berlin Wall might still be standing.

No comments: