Today thousands of Russian protesters have demonstrated in Moscow against Vladimir Putin and demanded fresh elections and a new president. That's a bold demand, but I wish they will succeed.
25 years ago today, President Reagan made a bold demand as well, which became reality two years later. He stood in front of the Berlin Wall, the Cold War's frontline, and said: "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" A big moment in transatlantic relations that deserves more appreciation. The plea sounds simple today, but was controversial back then. Former US Diplomat John Kornblum wrote a great background article. I include Reagan in the Top Five: Americans who rocked Berlin
The Russians deserve the same kind of freedom that East Germans got, when the wall fell.
Today is also good day for Freedom, because German Federal President Gauck visited the armed forces and declared that we cannot have freedom without responsibility. He reminded his fellow citizens that it was Allied soldiers, who made peace, freedom and human rights in Germany possible. He described the Bundeswehr as a pillar of freedom and criticized many citizens' lack of interest in their armed forces. Press article in German.
Endnote: The NY Times pays tribute to Ronald Reagan's speech, but the op-ed contributor Ted Widmer fails to realize that East-Berliners did not have access to the Wall, when he writes: "No one deserves more credit than the young graffiti-painters who protested against the wall for 28 years, and finally liberated themselves." It was only West-Berliners who had the freedom to paint graffitis at the wall.
I will have some freedom fries for dinner and watch David Hasselhoff at the Brandenburg Gate in 1989 and the Scorpions performing Wind of Change in Moscow, a song that was inspired by their Russia tour in 1989.