Sen. Mikulski’s Statement On The 25th
Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall
WASHINGTON, D.C. (November 10, 2014) – U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.) made the following statement on the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall:
“Today is the day the Berlin Wall came down, a day we can all be proud. It is a day that reminds us of the power of democratic values and ideals.
“I am filled with happiness as I remember that wonderful day 25 years ago. I am a proud American, there is no other country blessed with such opportunity, but the roots of my heritage lie in Poland. I grew up in a home that kept the heritage of the old country alive. As a child of World War II, Europe has always been fundamental to my life.
“Together with my family I watched Poland fall, along with Hungary and the Czech Republic and others, behind the Iron Curtain. I remember when Poland was sold out at Yalta and Potsdam because of an ill-conceived agreement. These countries became captive nations.
“We watched as a wall was built in Berlin. Those in East Berlin found themselves behind not only the Iron Curtain, but the Berlin Wall as well. Cut off from family, friends and their livelihoods.
“I am proud that Americans stood up at this moment– the famous Berlin Airlift provided those in West Berlin during the Berlin Blockade. The United States, with our allies, delivered basic necessities, food and fuel. We all stood with President Kennedy as he declared ‘Ich bin ein Berliner.’ American leadership was instrumental in making small cracks in the Wall. As Madeline Albright, whose heritage is also rooted in Eastern Europe like my own, has said of the United States, ‘We are the indispensable nation. We stand tall. We see further into the future.’
“The Wall began to crumble when an obscure Polish electrician named Lech Walesa jumped over a wall in a shipyard in Gdansk. It began with the Solidarity movement. From this, a people’s revolution was sparked in Central Europe.
“And thanks to the nonviolent protestors, the dissidents, such as Vaclav Havel of Czechoslovakia, and the political leadership from President Reagan and Maggie Thatcher and members of Congress – the Wall came down.
“I stand here to commemorate the fall of the Berlin Wall. Bringing down the Iron Curtain. Twenty five years ago, as a citizen of a strong Democratic United States of America, I joined President Reagan when he said, ‘Mr. Gorbochev, tear down this wall.’ I take this opportunity to stand together with my countrymen and celebrate our democratic values, our respect for human rights, and our freedom. The United States is a great nation, and through our action, commitment, and resolve, we will continue to bring down walls of oppression.
“Today is a great day for all of us and for the world and deserves our remembrance.”