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Ronald Reagan Wartime Address Highlights: 5 Quotes From the Tear Down This Wall Speech

Image: Ronald Reagan Wartime Address Highlights: 5 Quotes From the Tear Down This Wall Speech
US President Ronald Reagan, commemorating the 750th anniversary of Berlin, addresses on June 12, 1987 the people of West Berlin at the base of the Brandenburg Gate, near the Berlin wall. (Mike Sargent/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 19 May 2015 09:18 AM

One of the lasting legacies for United States President Ronald Reagan during his time in the White House was his victories against communism. Reagan helped orchestrate the eventual downfall of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War through his aggressive foreign policy and military spending.

Reagan's anti-communist ideology was encapsulated in a famous speech he made in West Berlin in June 12, 1987. The Berlin Wall symbolized the Cold War for many decades and Reagan made a literal and symbolic demand for the war to end by demanding the wall be torn down by the Soviet leadership.

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These five quotes capture the essence of Reagan's battle against communism.

1. Berlin Wall Must Fall to End the Cold War
"General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"

2. Cooperation Requires a Step Forward From Both Sides.
"Today thus represents a moment of hope. We in the West stand ready to cooperate with the East to promote true openness, to break down barriers that separate people, to create a safe, freer world. And surely there is no better place than Berlin, the meeting place of East and West, to make a start."

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3. Arms Reduction Comes as a Gesture Toward Peace.
"I understand the fear of war and the pain of division that afflict this continent – and I pledge to you my country's efforts to help overcome these burdens. To be sure, we in the West must resist Soviet expansion. So we must maintain defenses of unassailable strength. Yet we seek peace; so we must strive to reduce arms on both sides."

4. Totalitarian Government Does Not Foster Progress.
"The totalitarian world produces backwardness because it does such violence to the spirit, thwarting the human impulse to create, to enjoy, to worship. The totalitarian world finds even symbols of love and of worship an affront."

5. Berlin Wall Falling Will Drop Symbolic Wall Across Eastern Europe.
"Yes, across Europe, this wall will fall. For it cannot withstand faith; it cannot withstand truth. The wall cannot withstand freedom."

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One of the lasting legacies for United States President Ronald Reagan during his time in the White House was his victories against communism. Reagan helped orchestrate the eventual downfall of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War through his aggressive foreign policy and military spending.
ronald reagan, wartime, quotes
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2015-18-19
Tuesday, 19 May 2015 09:18 AM
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