Former President Ronald Reagan paid a visit Friday to the site of Winston Churchill's famed "Iron Curtain" speech on the first anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall to dedicate a monument sculpted from the wall by Churchill's granddaughter.
Under sunny skies, Reagan spoke about the changes in Europe since Churchill's 1946 speech, focusing on the fall of communism and its most famous symbol, the Berlin Wall."Today, we rejoice in the demise of the Berlin Wall that was permanently breached just one year ago," Reagan told a crowd of about 5,000 people, many of them students at Westminster College.
The college was the site of Churchill's "Sinews of Peace" address, in which he coined the phrase "Iron Curtain" to describe the emerging Communist bloc.
Churchill's granddaughter, artist Edwina Sandys, used eight concrete sections of the Berlin Wall to make the 11-foot by 32-foot monument called "Breakthrough." Sandys went to East Germany shortly after the wall was opened and persuaded the government to donate the wall sections for the sculpture.
Flanked by the U.S., German and British flags, and with a statue of Churchill looking out over the crowd, Reagan praised the British statesman's vision.
"Out of one man's speech was born a new Western resolve," Reagan said, "not warlike, not bellicose, not expansionist - but firm and principled in resisting those who would devour territory and put the soul itself into bondage."
Prior to his address, Reagan was awarded an honorary degree of doctor of laws by the college.