The facts are what they are. We cannot and must not forget that the Soviet Union murdered and oppressed millions of people before, during and after World War II in an effort to conquer more territories, gain more resources and grab more power. And while the world trembled, a select few leaders of that era finally took a stand in defense of freedom-loving people who lived under separate and distinct flags.
Germans are not the only ones who have forgotten. This lazy softening of history is equally a problem in our American classrooms. According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, American students test worse in history than they do in any other subject. A survey in 2007 concluded fully a third of 17-year-old American students did not know that the Bill of Rights guarantees our freedoms of religion and speech.
These are the principles our nation's veterans have fought and died for over the centuries, on our own soil and across an ocean, in places like Germany. These are the principles for which men and women like Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher made such courageous stands. This is the bedrock of who are, who we have been, and who we must remain in the future.
Thomas Jefferson told us, "Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppression of body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day."
I was proud to stand there and remember the fall of that terrible Wall. But until we remember in full, we leave ourselves open and vulnerable to the seditious creep of socialism, communism, and oppression.