Mikhail Gorbachev, George Bush Senior and Helmut Kohl joined to honour the extraordinary “ordinary” people who brought about the end of the wall on November 9, 1989. And they gave each other a round of applause, while they were at it, for their respective contributions.
Kohl, who was both chancellor of West Germany and then of the united German state, commented, “We Germans don’t have very much in our history to be proud of, but we’ve got every reason to be proud about German reunification.” (Cynics sometimes say Germans produce more history than they consume, so they have to export some of it…)
Bush added “The wall could never erase your dream, our dream of one Germany, a free Germany, a proud Germany.”
And Mikhail Gorbachev observed, “The people were the heroes. The three of us don’t want to take credit for the accomplishments of the previous generations.” Gorbachev also recalled the impact of two absent figures, Margaret Thatcher and the late French president, Francois Mitterand.
The events leading to and including the Nov. 9 anniversary – and the changes to the world that resulted — will receive intense news coverage around the world.
By Brooks Spector
WATCH: Berlin Wall 1961 – 1989
WATCH: Fall of the Berlin Wall, 1989