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!
As many here know, I was stationed in Berlin in the late 1980s and was in town—though on duty--when President Reagan made his famous June 12, 1988 request to Mikhail Gorbachev in the shadow of the Brandenburger Tor. In hindsight, it almost seems as if the sound of Reagan's voice terminally weakened the Berlin Wall to the point that it "crumbled" on its own a mere fifteen months later, like the wall of Jericho at the sound of the footsteps of Joshua's host.
I belong to several news groups which are composed of Air Force veterans who were stationed in Berlin before 1989. Some of the members were part of the USAF detail assigned to the arrival of the president and told some less-than-flattering stories about our lack of practice in military Drill and Ceremonies, especially as compared to that of their Berlin Brigade (Army) counterparts. There’s a reason that the other services make fun of us. Most of the time we laugh it off, but that one sounded like an occasion for real embarrassment.
UPDATE:GWB speech at the dedication of the Victims of Communism Memorial:
We dedicate this memorial because we have an obligation to those who died, to acknowledge their lives and honor their memory. The Czech writer Milan Kundera once described the struggle against Communism as "the struggle of memory against forgetting." Communist regimes did more than take their victims' lives; they sought to steal their humanity and erase their memory. With this memorial, we restore their humanity and we reclaim their memory. With this memorial, we say of Communism's innocent and anonymous victims, these men and women lived and they shall not be forgotten.