I was able to see a portion of the Berlin Wall on a recent trip to Dallas, Texas. The hotel I was staying at, the Hilton Anatole, has a large collection of artworks and artifacts. This section of the Berlin Wall was a part of their collection.
I took a few minutes and thought about the significance of the Berlin Wall in 20th Century history. It was literally the dividing line between the communist East, and the democracies of the West.
June 12, 2007 was the 20th anniversary of President Ronald Reagan's famous "Tear Down This Wall" speech.
The key passages was this:
"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, tear down this wall!"You can read the full text of the speech here.
But even better, through the magic of You Tube, you can watch an excerpt of this famous speech yourself:
Amazingly, that line was struck from the speech several times. The speech writer, Peter Robinson, had originally written the line. But whenever the speech was vetted with State Department, and National Security advisers, they kept striking this passage from the speech. They were afraid that this line was too provocative, and too bold.
Finally, President Reagan had to sit down with his advisers, and remind them that he was the president, and he would say whatever he wanted to say.
Well the rest, as they say, was history. Within 2 1/2 years, the wall really did come down. Within another year or so, the whole Soviet Empire collapsed, and freedom was restored to hundreds of millions of people who were formerly behind the Iron Curtain. And that Iron Curtain was most symbolized by the Berlin Wall.
All I can say is: I really miss The Gipper!