Today is a very important anniversary. This is the day, just two years after our President Reagan made his famous speech, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!". that in 1989 travel restrictions were lifted between East and West Germany, paving the way for a reunited Germany. The people were so happy that the restrictions had been lifted that they went to the various border crossings and demanded that the border be opened.
I don't know why, but I do remember that I was in my car, alone when I heard the news. I surprised myself because I cried. I didn't cry when Kennedy was shot, or later when the Twin Towers were attacked, but I did cry that day in 1989. Maybe they were happy tears for the people who could now visit relatives in the East or West; but they were also sad tears for the 192 people who were killed trying to escape conditions in East Germany.
A few years later, while visiting the Intrepid I again surprised myself because this normally calm and nondemonstrative person was so excited to see a large panel from the wall. It's a wonderful symbol of a people's imprisonment in their own country and their ultimate freedom.
Our Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is going to represent our country at services in Berlin. It's a shame that the leader of the greatest country in the world is too "busy" to attend these services and celebrate the freedom of the German people.