President Barack Obama has toasted German Chancellor Angela Merkel (AHN'-geh-lah MEHR'-kuhl) at a Rose Garden dinner as an extraordinary leader. And he used Tuesday's dinner to present Merkel with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Obama said he still remembers the rally he held in Berlin as a presidential candidate, which drew adoring throngs. And so he said he'd decided to reciprocate with what he called "a little dinner in our Rose Garden."
After the citation was read aloud, Obama told the 200-plus dinner guests to go ahead and applaud. But then Obama realized he'd forgotten something and reminded himself that "I've got to do the toast." And he did just that.
Merkel recalled dreaming of freedom as a child in East Germany and thanked all Americans for helping the Germans.