Barack Obama spoke to tens of thousands of Berliners gathered at the foot of the Victory Column, chanting "Yes We Can" or "O-bam-a." Using the image of a wall in the city formerly home to the most infamous one, Barack Obama highlighted the common challenges facing America and its allies, especially Europe.
That is why the greatest danger of all is to allow new walls to divide us from one another. The walls between old allies on either side of the Atlantic cannot stand. The walls between the countries with the most and those with the least cannot stand. The walls between races and tribes; natives and immigrants; Christian and Muslim and Jew cannot stand. These now are the walls we must tear down.
While sharing pride for his country, Obama also discussed concerns shared with Europe, including: working for a successful NATO mission in Afghanistan, securing loose nuclear material, working with Russia, getting Iran to abandon its nuclear plan, securing a lasting peace between Israel and Palestine, bringing the Iraq war to a close, and addressing climate change (which got some of the loudest applause).
For more from the speech, and to find out how the Bush Administration and John McCain handled the event,
Obama asked the crowd to carry the burdens of global citizenship that bind us together:
Will we stand for the human rights of the dissident in Burma, the blogger in Iran, or the voter in Zimbabwe? Will we give meaning to the words "never again" in Darfur? Will we acknowledge that there is no more powerful example than the one each of our nations projects to the world? Will we reject torture and stand for the rule of law? Will we welcome immigrants from different lands, and shun discrimination against those who don't look like us or worship like we do, and keep the promise of equality and opportunity for all of our people?
So did the Republicans get in the spirit? Yes and No. While Germans got to hear what Obama had to say, the Bush Administration's State Department banned foreign service workers from attending the event. But John McCain appeared today at the Schmidts' Sausage Haus in Columbus, Ohio's German Village, apparently going for the German vote as well.
Will Americans be excited that foreign people embraced an American leader?