SOURCE: Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation
BERLIN--(Marketwire - Sep 19, 2012) - Governing Mayor Klaus Wowereit and U.S. Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany Philip D. Murphy unveiled a plaque today near the very spot where President Reagan delivered his "Tear Down This Wall" address at the Brandenburg Gate on 12 June, 1987. In commemoration of the 25th anniversary of this historic speech, a bronze plaque, designed by artist Helga Lieser, now marks this location at Strasse des 17. Juni.
The unveiling was part of the Ronald Reagan Centennial Celebration, a historic celebration commemorating the 100th birthday of President Ronald Reagan. Sponsored by the Reagan Foundation, and funded completely through private donations, substantive programs and celebratory events have been held around the world -- from Los Angeles, California to London, England, and now in Berlin, Germany -- honoring the life and legacy of this global leader who inspired freedom and changed the world.
Governing Mayor of Berlin Klaus Wowereit said of the important occasion, "The plaque commemorating Ronald Reagan's speech in front of the Brandenburg Gate reminds us of the dark time when the city was divided; it reminds us of the wall and the barbed wire. What seemed inconceivable at the time of the Cold War has become reality today: Berlin is a free and international city. And the Brandenburg Gate has become a symbol of this openness."
"In the shadow of that grim barrier that cut like a scar across the free world, President Reagan used the power of words to capture in only a few minutes the dilemma of the Cold War," Ambassador Murphy said about President Reagan's "Tear Down This Wall" address. Asking what President Reagan might think of Pariser Platz now, Ambassador Murphy remarked, "I am sure that he would approve of the coming and going of Berliners and visiting Berliners, young and old -- although, I would say, judging from what I see, more young than old. He would have loved the fact that Berlin attracts so many young people -- free to make their own choices, free to order their affairs as they see fit, free to wander back and forth across what is now only a line in the street but what was once a treacherous killing zone."
Andrew Littlefair, Trustee for the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation, reading a letter from Nancy Reagan, said, "I know if Ronnie were here today, he would be honored and humbled by the recognition he is receiving. But he would be the first to tell you that it was the power of freedom that truly deserves the credit."
GE, the presenting sponsor of the Ronald Reagan Centennial Celebration, was represented by Ferdinando Beccalli-Falco, President and CEO of GE Europe. Speaking about the time when Ronald Reagan served as a goodwill ambassador and host of General Electric Theater from 1954-1962, Mr. Beccalli reflected, "Last year we were delighted to renew those links with President Reagan, through the Reagan Foundation, by supporting his centennial celebrations not just in the United States but also here in Europe and in particular Central and Eastern Europe. Ronald Reagan inspired hope and self-confidence -- today more than ever these are qualities that we in Europe need -- hope, confidence, self-belief and prosperity."
About the Reagan Foundation:
The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation is the non-profit, non-partisan organization whose mission is to promote the legacy of Ronald Reagan by convening, educating and engaging people around the world in his core principles of freedom, economic opportunity, global democracy and national pride. The Reagan Foundation sustains the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, the Reagan Center for Public Affairs, the Walter and Leonore Annenberg Presidential Learning Center and The Air Force One Pavilion. Located in Simi Valley, California the Library houses 63 million pages of Gubernatorial, Presidential and personal papers and over 60,000 gifts and artifacts chronicling the lives of Ronald and Nancy Reagan. It also serves as the final resting place of America's 40th President. www.reaganfoundation.org
The plaque and dedication program are made possible by the generosity of GE, the presenting sponsor of the Ronald Reagan Centennial Celebration.
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