The Great Communicator, Vol 1: The Reagan Presidency 1981-1989
01:47:08 - 01:49:05
May 5, 1985, Remarks at a Joint German-American Military Ceremony at Bitburg Air Base in the Federal Republic of Germany. Ronald Reagan speaks about touring World War II sites. I have just come from the cemetery where German war dead lay at rest. No one could visit there without deep and conflicting emotions. I felt great sadness that history could be filled with such waste, destruction and evil. But my heart was also lifted by the knowledge that from the ashes comes hope and that from the terrors from the past we have built 40 years, of peace, freedom and reconciliation among our nations. This visit has stirred many emotions in the American and German people too. I ve received many letters since, from first deciding to come to Bitburg Cemetery. Some supportive, others deeply concerned and questioning, and other opposed. Some old wounds have been reopened. And this I regret very much, because this should be a time of healing. Twenty two years ago President John F. Kennedy went to the Berlin Wall and proclaimed that he too, was a Berliner. Today freedom loving people around the world must say, I am a Berliner, I am a Jew in a world still threaten by anti-Semitism, I am a Afghan, and I am a prisoner of the gulag, I am a refugee in a crowded boat floundering off the cost of Vietnam, I am a Laotian, a Cambodian, a Cuban and a Mosquito Indian in Nicaragua, I too am a potential victim of totalitarianism. The one lesson of WW II, the one lesson of Nazism, is that freedom must always be stronger than totalitarianism and that good must always be stronger than evil.