Should people be proud of their country

Speech by US President John F. Kennedy in front of Schöneberg Town Hall on June 26, 1963

On behalf of the people of the United States who live thousands of miles from you on the other side of the Atlantic, I would like to tell you that my fellow Americans are proud, very proud to be able to tell the story of the world with you, even from a distance last 18 years to share. Because I don't know that a city has ever been besieged for 18 years and yet lives in unbroken vitality, with unshakable hope, with the same strength and with the same determination as West Berlin today.

The wall is the most hideous and powerful demonstration of the failure of the communist system. The whole world sees this admission of failure. We are by no means happy about that; because, as your Governing Mayor said, the wall not only hits history in the face, it hits humanity in the face. The wall separates families, man from woman, brother from sister, and violence is used to keep people apart who want to live together.

What is true of Berlin is true of Germany: a real peace in Europe cannot be guaranteed as long as every fourth German is denied the basic right of free choice. In 18 years of peace and proven reliability, this generation of Germans has earned the right to be free, including the right to see families and the nation reunited in lasting peace, in goodwill against everyone.

You live on a defended island of freedom. But your life is linked to that of the mainland, and so I finally ask you to look beyond the dangers of today to the hope of tomorrow, to the freedom of this city of Berlin and to the freedom of your country Advance of freedom all over the world, over the wall to the day of peace with justice. Freedom is indivisible, and if even one is enslaved, not all are free. But when the day comes when everyone has freedom and your city and country are united again, when Europe is united and part of a peaceful continent with the highest hopes, then when that day comes, you can to say with satisfaction that the Berliners and this city of Berlin held the front for 20 years.

All free people, wherever they may live, are citizens of this city of Berlin, and that is why, as a free man, I am proud to be able to say: I am a Berliner. "