Washington : Commemorating the fall of the Berlin Wall some 26 years ago, US President Barack Obama has said the people of Berlin inspired the world.
"Through their victory, the people of Berlin inspired the world. Their resolve reminds us that though the scourge of oppression endures, it can never outlast the spirit of a people determined to live free," Obama said in a proclamation yesterday to commemorate World Freedom Day on November 9.
"On this day, let us carry forward the call that echoes through the ages -- 'Ich bin ein Berliner' ? by supporting those who still struggle against tyranny and intolerance, and who continue to seek the everlasting light of liberty," he said.
The fall of the Iron Curtain liberated a continent from the grip of corrupt dictatorships, and its demise marked a victory for democratic rule over forces that had for too long sealed out the fresh air of freedom, he said.
"On this day, we honour those who braved extreme hardship in pursuit of progress and reunification, and we reaffirm our support for the citizens of the world who still face obstacles to a better, brighter, and more just future," he added.
"In standing with all those behind the Curtain who felt the urgency of the time and who sought a democracy of their own, the US recognized our own past: A common struggle for individual rights, security, and human dignity," Obama said.
"During a stirring defense of these ideals, it was an American President who famously pledged solidarity with Berliners, and another who issued a bold call to tear down what stood between Germany and the blessings of liberty," said he said.
"As we celebrate our friendship with the German people today, we reflect on our history and look to the future with a shared notion of optimism and opportunity," he added.