Bayern, USA, Deutschland

Friday, July 04, 2008

Independence Day and Embassy Opening

July 4th is an important holiday in America. We celebrate with cookouts, fireworks, and patriotic music. This is great. I also set aside a few moments every July 4th to read the Declaration of Independence. It is one of the foundational documents for our country.

Today is also a special day for American-German relationships: the newly built American embassy opened today in central Berlin. The embassy has now returned to its old home next to the Brandenburg Gate.

Here's an article from Deutsche Welle: http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,2144,3461973,00.html

On June 12, 1987, Pres. Ronald Reagan gave his historic speech at the Brandenburg Gate in what was then West Berlin. His most famous line was: ,,Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"

Reagan's speech captured the heart of July 4th and the Declaration of Independence. He spoke about freedom, a freedom that America desired a divided Germany and a divided Berlin to have. He reminded the Germans: You have a friend in America. They still do; and we still have a friend in Germany. There are many cultural and political ties between our countries, ties that have lead to freedom in Germany and other countries around the world. Reagan said it best in his speech: ,,Freedom leads to prosperity. Freedom replaces the ancient hatreds among the nations with comity and peace. Freedom is the victor."
And now there is a U.S. embassy on the site of the previous embassy, next to the Brandenburg Gate, show-casing the friendship and the freedom that German and Americans have long enjoyed together: June 12, 1987; October 3, 1990; July 4, 2008.

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