] Remarks at the Brandenburg Gate
] West Berlin, Germany
] June 12, 1987
] This speech was delivered to the people of West Berlin,
] yet it was also audible on the East side of the Berlin
. . .
] Behind me stands a wall that encircles the free sectors of
] this city, part of a vast system of barriers that divides the
] entire continent of Europe. From the Baltic, south, those
] barriers cut across Germany in a gash of barbed wire, concrete,
] dog runs, and guard towers. Farther south, there may be no
] visible, no obvious wall. But there remain armed guards and
] checkpoints all the same--still a restriction on the right to
] travel, still an instrument to impose upon ordinary men and women
] the will of a totalitarian state. Yet it is here in Berlin where
] the wall emerges most clearly; here, cutting across your city,
] where the news photo and the television screen have imprinted
] this brutal division of a continent upon the mind of the world.
] Standing before the Brandenburg Gate, every man is a German,
] separated from his fellow men. Every man is a Berliner, forced
] to look upon a scar.
In regards to the death of President Reagan: I'm reminded of a time that we passed ever so briefly... I was working in Los Angeles at the time, during one of the post-Reagan administrations. I was standing streetside for some reason, probably waiting for a bus. There were few other people on the street, and I became aware of a large black car idling nearby, and then the black-suited and earplugged men who seemed to suddenly appear out of the shadows, standing quietly but obviously very very alert to their surroundings. A few moments later, I saw the reason for the Secret Service, as Reagan emerged from the building, strode briskly across the sidewalk, and smiled and waved at me as I stood there stunned and agape. He quickly entered the car, and then he and the dark ghosts were gone, leaving only the car's tiny puddle of dripped air conditioner condensation in their wake.
I was sorry to hear of his death, though of course it wasn't a surprise. I can't really say whether or not I liked him, but I did respect him, especially since he was President during the time that I was in the USAF, and as such, he was my boss.
And I will spend a moment of silence this Friday, in honor of his memory.
Ronald Reagan's 'Tear Down This Wall' Speech