U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo unveiled a seven-foot statue of former President Ronald Reagan in Berlin, Germany, on Friday, where he famously called on Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to “tear down” the Wall.
“President Reagan was an indispensable leader of the … American mission to defend unalienable rights,” Pompeo remarked during the unveiling ceremony.
Because of his courageous leadership and his commitment to that freedom, he courageously denounced the greatest threat to them of this day to that freedom – the Soviet Empire, the evil empire. He knew that instead of protecting a citizen’s right, they brutalized citizens or executed them.
A sign placed near the statue displayed Reagan’s famous quote from 1987, which read, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.”
Saturday, Richard Grenell, the U.S. ambassador to Germany, tweeted photos of himself showing pictures of the bronze statue to German Chancellor Angela Merkel:
Today at the Fall of the Wall celebration I showed the Chancellor our new Reagan statue (via my phone). pic.twitter.com/3Su4hhgXIb
— Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) November 9, 2019
Prior to the ceremony, Merkel praised former President George Bush for his role in helping bring unity to her nation.
“That the USA, along with George Bush, helped and supported us on the path to German reunification is something that we will never forget,” she said.
For ten years, Berlin authorities rejected U.S. officials’ applications to have a statue placed at the site of Reagan’s Cold War speech. Despite the pushback, the statue was erected on the balcony of the U.S. embassy, where it overlooks the site of the old Berlin Wall.
“As a Californian, I’m personally proud to have our former governor and President of the United States standing atop the Embassy, reminding visitors of America’s commitment to democracy and freedom,” Ambassador Grenell told reporters Friday.
In a video shared on Twitter Saturday, Secretary Pompeo lauded the Germans’ resiliency and urged the audience to remain vigilant to preserve freedom:
@SecPompeo: Today’s 30th Anniversary of the #FalloftheWall evokes powerful memories of my time as a young commander patrolling the then-East Germany-West Germany boundary. Amazed at how far we have come since then. pic.twitter.com/oLJYTx9eHc
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) November 9, 2019
President Trump released a statement Saturday morning to mark the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Wall.
“I congratulate the German people on the tremendous strides that have been made in reuniting their country and in rebuilding the former East Germany,” he said.
“We will continue working with Germany, one of our most treasured allies, to ensure that the flames of freedom burn as a beacon of hope and opportunity for the entire world to see.”