Statement on the 27th
Anniversary of the Berlin Wall
August 12, 1988
13 marks a sad anniversary: the 27th anniversary of the Berlin Wall. That wall
is both a scar across the city of Berlin and a symbol of the
division of the German Nation and of Europe. As tentative breezes
of openness begin to stir the societies in the East, the wall now stands in
stark contrast to the human struggle for freedom taking place in its shadow.
There is no more dramatic proof of communism's failed dream than the wall.
men and women everywhere take heart from the courage of the people of Berlin. Their determination to
protect their outpost of freedom remains undaunted despite repeated challenges
over the years from those who would deny their liberty and who fear their
example. Berliners remain committed to preserving their democratic way of life
and to removing the barriers dividing the German Nation. The United States is honored to stand
firmly with the British and French to defend the freedom and promote the
well-being of Berlin. These unwavering
commitments continue to be a cornerstone of American policy in Europe.
June of last year, I stood before the Brandenburg Gate and offered an
initiative meant to bring positive change to the lives of Berliners: improved
air access; bringing more conferences to the entire city; staging international
sporting events, including the Olympics; and promoting youth exchanges between
the two parts of Berlin. Last December we,
together with the British and French, proposed specific ideas to the Soviets
along these lines. We are still awaiting an answer.
we recall the construction of the wall on this day in 1961, the people of the United States reaffirm their
commitment to Berlin and salute the brave
people who live there. Americans believe that with imagination and will East
and West can make Berlin a symbol of a new era,
reflecting the true aspirations of the human spirit, before another anniversary
of the wall is passed.