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    Berlin, Brandenburg Gate Become Icons for US Presidents

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    From Obama to Kennedy, summertime in Germany has become a popular place for several American presidents over the past 50 years.

    WASHINGTON, June 19 (by Suleiman Wali for RIA Novosti) – Summer in Germany has become a popular place for several American presidents over the past 50 years, ever since John F. Kennedy delivered his famous "Ich bin ein Berliner" speech in 1963.

    On Wednesday, US President Barack Obama became the fourth American commander-in-chief to visit Berlin and deliver a speech either at or near the famed Brandenburg Gate. His address was delivered just a few days shy of the 50th anniversary of Kennedy's speech in the city.

    Standing beneath the Brandenburg Gate's mythological statue of a four-horse chariot being driven by the Roman goddess of victory, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton have also struck chords of peace, justice and freedom in their speeches.

    Starting with Obama, here is a look back at each American president's historic speech (through photo and video) in Berlin.

    Barack Obama at the Brandenburg Gate, June 19, 2013

    Highlight: Obama said he would like to see nuclear arsenals in Russia and the US further cut down by up to one-third. "We no longer live in fear of global annihilation, but so long as nuclear weapons exist, we are not truly safe," he said.

    Obama at Brandenburg Gate

     

     

    John F. Kennedy in Berlin, June 26, 1963

    Highlight: In a divided Germany, Kennedy said that West Berlin was a symbol of freedom in a world threatened by the Cold War. Kennedy began and ended with the German phrase "Ich bin ein Berliner," which means "I am one with the people of Berlin." In this photo, Kennedy stands at the podium and faces the massive crowd outside West Berlin's Schöneberg City Hall, located a few miles away from the Brandenburg Gate.

    Kennedy at Brandenburg Gate

     

     

    Ronald Reagan at the Brandenburg Gate, June 12, 1987

    Highlight: Seeking to undercut Europe's perception that Mikhail Gorbachev was a leader of peace, Reagan bluntly challenged the Soviet leader to tear down the Berlin wall, which divided East and West Germany for decades. "Secretary General 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," Reagan said.

    Reagan at Brandenburg Gate

     

     

    Bill Clinton at the Brandenburg Gate, July 12, 1994

    Highlight: Speaking just a few years after the fall of the Berlin wall and subsequent German reunification, Clinton urged Germany to play a leadership role in Europe. "Standing here today, we can see the answer: a Europe where all nations are independent and democratic; where free markets and prosperity know no borders; where our security is based on building bridges, not walls; where all our citizens can go as far as their God-given abilities will take them and raise their children in peace and hope," he said.

    Clinton at Brandenburg Gate

     

     

    Tags:
    John F. Kennedy, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Ronald Reagan, Berlin
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