Wednesday, June 25, 2008

"Ich bin ein Berliner"

45 years ago today, John F Kennedy delivered these thrilling (albeit grammatically sketchy) words before a huge crowd in West Berlin.

It was a very different world then, in many ways. But the spirit of freedom is a constant throughout the history of humankind.
Freedom is indivisible, and when one man is enslaved, all are not free. When all are free, then we look -- can look forward to that day when this city will be joined as one and this country and this great Continent of Europe in a peaceful and hopeful globe. When that day finally comes, as it will, the people of West Berlin can take sober satisfaction in the fact that they were in the front lines for almost two decades.
JFK set a standard for America with that speech, a standard that our nation seems to be sorely failing to live by these days.

Especially considering how quickly our leaders are willing to trade our hard-won freedoms for political capital. Even today, when the FISA vote may include blanket immunity for possible crimes against our own people.

Yet, there is the hope and the promise that if we can work together, real change may result; a change that includes a restoration and even an expansion of Constitutional freedoms.

The video and transcript of JFK's words 45 years ago are located at American Rhetoric. I highly recommend you click on the link and take 8 or so minutes to listen to a President who possessed a unique talent for leadership, for communication, and who had a very real appreciation of history.

(h/t to Peterr over at Fire Dog Lake)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Not grammatically sketchy at all! You're referring to what is no more than a popular urban myth.