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Remarks on Arrival in Berlin, Germany

July 11, 1994

Thank you very much. Mr. Mayor, Mrs. Diepgen, ladies and gentlemen, it is a great honor for me to be the first American President to visit a united Berlin in a united Germany. For so long this great city was the symbol of our quest for freedom everywhere. Today it is the symbol of the most fundamental fact of modern times, the unstoppable advance of democracy.

Goethe wrote, "That which you inherit from your fathers you must earn in order to possess." The German people hardly need a reminder that freedom can never be taken for granted. You have earned it many times over. But we cannot simply celebrate what has already been won. Now we must spread the bounties of freedom. Today's changing world must lead to tomorrow's prosperity. It is fitting that tomorrow's summit of the United States and the European Union is being held here. Berlin is at the center of Europe, the center of its culture, its commerce, its hopes, and its dream for a united and free Europe.

For 50 years, Americans and Berliners have forged the bonds of friendship. Even though our American military will soon leave Berlin, America's ties will continue, through the rest of our troops in Germany, through thousands of American civilians, businessmen, students, and artists who will remain and who will contribute to your life and your prosperity.

Mr. Mayor, on behalf of all the American people, we congratulate you again on your freedom and your unity, and we stand with you as we walk together into the future.

Thank you very much.

NOTE: The President spoke at 11:15 p.m. at Tegel Airport. In his remarks, he referred to Mayor Eberthart Diepgen of Berlin, and his wife, Monika.

William J. Clinton, Remarks on Arrival in Berlin, Germany Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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