BERLIN | The U.S. Embassy in Berlin unveiled a statue of Ronald Reagan on Friday at a site overlooking the location of the former president’s iconic speech imploring the Soviet Union to remove the Berlin Wall.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called the inauguration of the work a “monumental moment” before helping remove the cover from the larger-than-life statue on the Embassy’s terrace, at eye-level with the top of the landmark Brandenburg Gate.
Today marks the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, and Pompeo was winding up a two-day trip to multiple cities and towns for commemorations.
The gate, which was just on the East German side of the Wall, was the backdrop for Reagan’s 1987 speech in which he challenged Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to go further with the reforms he was instituting.
Reagan implored him: “If you seek liberalization, come here to this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.”
Pompeo praised Reagan for his bold defense of freedom, telling a gathering of politicians, diplomats, donors and others that the former president “courageously denounced the greatest threat to that freedom, the Soviet Empire, the Evil Empire.”