June 12, 1987: President Reagan and a good day for freedom

It was President Reagan at his best. The great communicator, the great advocate for freedom, the man who understood the evil empire would eventually crash.

On this day in 1987, President Reagan delivered one of the greatest Cold War speeches ever:

“Reagan’s challenge came during a visit to West Berlin.

With the Berlin Wall as a backdrop, Reagan declared, “There is one sign the Soviets can make that would be unmistakable, that would advance dramatically the cause of freedom and peace.”

He then called upon his Soviet counterpart:

“Secretary General Gorbachev, if you seek peace–if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe–if you seek liberalization: come here, to this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.”

Addressing the West Berlin crowd, Reagan observed, “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.”

Reagan then went on to ask Gorbachev to undertake serious arms reduction talks with the United States.”

The Berlin Wall came down two years later.

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