Comments yesterday from a blogger wondering why the United States and the EU had not kept their promises to the people of the Ukraine have me thinking. A promise was made that traditional weapons would be provided if Ukraine disarmed their nuclear weapons. But this does not appear to have happened. The Ukrainians are digging ditches and fighting with sticks and fire. This made me think of a time in our history where inspiring words as well as strong courageous actions were what the world expected and got from the United States as a leader of freedom in the world.
June 1987, President Ronald Reagan was in Berlin to celebrate the 750 anniversary of that great city. Berlin had been divided by a wall to separate the West and the East , built in 1961 by the Russians. With no warning, there were families suddenly separated by that massive ugly barrier. Now, Mr. Gorbachev was showing a willingness to talk and negotiate as the Soviet Union was slowly loosing a stronghold over its empire.
A wall’s purpose is two fold, to enclose some and to keep others out.
I will never forget images of the wall being destroyed, though I have never been to Berlin. It was an inspiring sight to see the joy of the people. Earlier there were stories of desperate East Berliners trying desperately to climb and drop to freedom. Most of them were gunned down in the process by the the soldiers.
I thank JF for making me think about why the US had not kept her word. We have all seen this year our leaders proclaim “red lines” not to be crossed, most prominently in Syria and Iran, and then when they were crossed…we have done nothing. Many people have suffered and died. I am not proposing “boots on the ground” but something in-between nothing and war.
I do know that the government can be working in the background and that was much more understandable in the past where there were no 24/7 news shows available to every cable TV household. There could be details we don’t know but we also have examples of “peaceful revolution” from Gandhi, Mandella, and Martin Luther King as well as strong and inspiring leaders like Ronald Reagan. None of these men were perfect, without mistakes, but they were teachers, guides, and gave inspiration to the oppressed and kept their word.
This beautiful gate is one of the most recognizable sites in Germany. In the US, it is known for the site of inspiring presidential speeches by President Kennedy and President Reagan. The gate is just next to the “wall”, making the setting of this hundreds year old neoclassical triumphant arch even more dramatic.
Thank you Mr. President for inspiring and working for freedom for many oppressed people in the world.
I would love to hear your thoughts. I thank my bloggers for teaching me!
Wikipedia and domain images