“Today, we remember the moment twenty years ago when the sacrifices of so many finally gave way to the dismantling of a concrete and mortar symbol representing an oppressive political system that imprisoned its people behind an Iron Curtain. Today is both a celebration of freedom and democracy, and a lesson in freedom and democracy. After decades of the Cold War struggle between communism and democracy, the fall of the Berlin Wall signaled that the ideals of freedom had triumphed over totalitarianism.
“Most of us remember those simple but resounding words of President Ronald Reagan, ‘Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall’ - the President’s speech pursuing peace through perseverance and unassailable strength.
“We cannot forget the brave Germans who struggled to shake off tyranny, and we must not forget the leadership our nation and the West provided in defeating communism’s hold. Because the United States, under the leadership of presidents from John F. Kennedy to Ronald Reagan, and all the leaders of the free world were willing to make the military and diplomatic investments necessary to overwhelm the stronghold of communism, Eastern Europe has moved from a shroud of state suppression to a din of democracy.
“As we continue to face enemies around the globe, we must remember the lessons that the Cold War taught us. Appeasement does not work, but strength does beget peace. Freedom has a price and it must be a price we are willing to pay.
“Today, we stand with the people of unified Germany and celebrate freedom. We also stand together with all who believe in freedom and democracy against those who wish to take those freedoms away.”