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Friendship Force From Berlin, Federal Republic of Germany Remarks on Greeting the Berlin Citizens on Their Arrival in the United States.

November 07, 1978

THE PRESIDENT. Ambassador von Staden, Chairman Max Schmeling-where's—

ALFRED INGENWERTH. [Referring to Mr. Schmeling] He is not on board.

THE PRESIDENT. He's not on board.

MR. INGENWERTH. I am the flight director-[inaudible].

THE PRESIDENT. Okay. Well, we heard that he's done a great job in arranging this flight. We're very proud that you could come.

My wife and I have had a chance to visit West Berlin twice. Both times we were received with open arms, friendship, hospitality, and warmth. And we are very grateful that you have come to our country to learn about us and to see if we could respond with an equal amount of hospitality and friendship to you.

This is a very fine opportunity for the great people of West Germany and the great people of the United States to know one another better. We are very. grateful also that the Friendship Force idea, which is my wife, Rosalynn's idea, has been carried out so successfully during the last 16 months.

We've now had 18 exchanges between our country and foreign nations, involving more than 20,000 people, and your support of this program has been a very good demonstration of how valuable it is.

When I was in Berlin for the town meeting, many of the people in the audience had been to our country in the former Friendship Force flight. And their enthusiasm for the exchange was very inspirational to us.

I hope that while you are here, not only would you receive the welcome of myself as President, my wife, Rosalynn, and our family, but also your host families, whom I'm sure you will grow to know and to love, and also the people of the United States.

This is an important night to us. It's our election night. We're choosing about 35 Senators and 435 Members of our House of Representatives, I think 36 Governors, and many members of our State Legislatures. So, perhaps when you get to your host family, you will see how the election results will come in through the television broadcasts.

I will go from here to the White House, and I will be on the telephone a large part of the night calling and congratulating the winners and calling and consoling the losers. I hope we won't have any Democrats who are losers.

I might say this in closing: You are fortunate in many ways in coming to this area immediately adjacent to Washington, D.C., our National Capital. I hope that while you are here you will enjoy yourselves, because Americans like to enjoy themselves as well.

There are many exciting places for you to visit, and of course, you can learn about the history of our Nation, of which we are, of course, very proud. But I think the most important thing which you will learn is how the family with whom you stay lives, what they believe, what they are, what their interrelationships are with their neighbors, and how grateful they are to make new neighbors now across the ocean, those of you who have come here from Germany.

We are very, very grateful to have you. We've exchanged visits, as you know, with your Chancellor, Helmut Schmidt, and his wife. They're very good friends of my wife, Rosalynn. And this additional exchange will be the cement that ties your great democracy even closer with our own.

Thank you very much for coming. Welcome. And now I would like to walk down the aisle and shake hands with each of you.

Note: The President spoke at approximately 7 p.m. on board the airplane which had brought the Friendship Force members to Dulles International Airport, Va. In his opening remarks, he referred to German Ambassador to the United States Berndt von Staden and Max Schmeling, former heavyweight boxing champion and chairman of the German committee of the Friendship Force.

Jimmy Carter, Friendship Force From Berlin, Federal Republic of Germany Remarks on Greeting the Berlin Citizens on Their Arrival in the United States. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/243939

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